The Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper, under the banner “They advertise Keryneia, they take tourists to Paphos”, accuses a British holiday company of duping unsuspecting tourists into believing they are booking holidays in the north.
Based on accounts from British- based Turkish Cypriots and English tourists, the paper reports that Thomson Holidays are advertising Kyrenia as a district of Paphos on their website.
The paper claims that tourists book online thinking they will be staying in the north, but actually end up at hotels in the south.
A tourism spokesman called the situation “laughable” and described it as another attempt by the Turkish Cypriots to blame their struggling tourism industry on others.
“It is known they have big problems economically and with tourists’ arrivals, so this propaganda does not surprise me,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, Ozbek Dedekorkut, chairman of the “Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents’ Union” stated that as long as the communication problem remains unsolved, they will have to continue to confront similar cases.
He said that similar examples appeared in Germany.
“Greek Cypriots advertise Girne [occupied Keryneia] and Magusa [occupied Famagusta], and the tourists actually stay in Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos, and are taken there for trips by bus,” he said.