A country which is more known as a holiday destination and its good weather, we are experiencing an upgrading in our standard of living and entertainment, having attracted the attention of international stars, which is now extended to real estate (as it may appear at present). To this end the hospitality of Cypriots play a major part.
The trigger of our article came about due the recent concert that was given on by the Italian international singer Eros Ramazzotti in Limassol. We were there and by mistake we sat on the first 3 rows of seats and this “gig” (using the 1975’s era expression) was most entertaining, with the 6.000 people attending (of all ages mind you). It was a breath of fresh air and a good event for social interaction and getting to know other people. This, until the next show that we will attend, that of Celine Dion in August 2020. These international artists (and deservingly), are the start (not the last we add) which are helping upgrade Cyprus living and culture for which we are not known for. These “gigs” follow other artists such as Elton John, Tom Jones, the Paphos Opera annual event and even sports events such as the Marathon Run (especially the one in Limassol), the sailing boat races, the numerous lectures given by local and international speakers that take place in Cyprus including academics, such as our own Mr. Pissarides (Nobel awarded), whereas the recent upgrading of the Nicosia Theatre and those of Limassol are nowadays hosting all sorts of cultural events, ranging from folk dancing to chorus of international fame and quality, are some of the activities that are taking place.
Cultural events and the attendance of those international stars are a free advertising for Cyprus (be it they do it for money than out of love for this country) generates an interest for real estate and themselves (the stars) puts on the map of international interest for little Cyprus.
- Let’s record our own experience on the subject stating the most recent one Shakira, who bought a house in Peyia, Paphos (around €3 mil.), which was reported in the international news.
- The Paphos Opera brings over around 2,000 Israelis p.a. who would not have come to Cyprus otherwise, not only benefiting the hotels, but also they get to know the country – In fact 3 Israelis (high end) investors informed us that having come to know Cyprus as a result of the opera visit they were keen to live within a “peaceful environment”.
- The Ramazzotti event, in addition to the local attendants, a lot of foreign visitors - particularly Russian speakers - were there in force (the promotion was undertaken by a Russian Co.), who were very enthusiastic. Eros Ramazzotti’s concert cost €500-€800/each abroad and in Cyprus the average seats cost around €200/p.p. The recent promotion events were costing (abroad) at a range of €800/each for average seats “... so I came from Ukraine and the ticket together with hotel cost and air fare did not come to the one at Paris. What a place to live she added”.
- Let’s come to Celine Dion with a good following from Lebanon. Our Lebanese agent told us “let’s advertise the event together with property sales in Cyprus since it is a way out of Lebanon with the mess that we are going through”.
- Promoting Cyprus also as a place for culture will not be a mistake, since so many events are taking place. A recent international Co. event at a beach hotel in Limassol, the participants (we attended) were more excited by the visit to the wine region wineries rather than the seminar given, whereas the quality of our meze/souvla food won them over. We had 2 enquiries to buy property out of those lovely food and fun seeking participants (we are keeping our fingers crossed for the outcome).
- Selling real estate at “subsidized” prices to international stars is not unknown and David Beckham’s acquisition of a villa at the Palm Island (Dubai) promoted further this successful project.
- The Limassol marathon (2019) caused us to meet a young German couple at the Castle tourist area, whom we did not take seriously (our mistake). They are now in process of buying (hopefully with us) a €4.5 mil. penthouse!!
- The hosting of Elton John, the Prince of Monaco, Tom Jones etc. at the Anassa Hotel put this hotel on the top list of “best hotels in the world” with reference to others to visit.
We hope that the new and worthy Minister of Tourism gets the message that culture especially at the Cyprus low comparative costs and quality of life, is an opportunity to explore for the “benefit of the wider Cyprus economy”. Promote dear Minister Cyprus our culture, little as there is now, but we are getting there, be it slowly.
In ending we must tell you our little (true) story for a potential foreign buyer who required a house of £1.0 mil. from Leptos Kamares project. At that time (1990) this amount was huge. So we hired a 7-seater Mercedes car, we picked him up from the airport, but because we were early for our appointment on our way to Paphos (we realized that we were 2 hours ahead of the meeting), we stopped for breakfast at the Hani restaurant in Pissouri village. Fried halloumi and eggs, where the grandmother charm did the start. We noted afterwards that he was not so enthusiastic to go further.
Driving through the vine area of Pissouri, we crossed a field where grape picking was in full force with around 20 people plus donkeys to help. The vine owner stopped our car and insisted that we get out, for him to “treat” us (and to be quite honest we did not know how this would have gone). Thanassis, the owner, insisted that we should have as a gift from him, 2 cases of grapes each, and the whole family came around for photos. Long story short, this Swiss client of ours ended up baptizing Thanassis’ son in Pissouri and more importantly and in addition to the purchase of a house there, he built a couple of hotels in Cyprus (sorry Leptos Estates).
There are so many problems in the world from Bolivia to Hong Kong that we do not appreciate how lucky we are, something which the foreign market pays special attention to.