There is a new phrase that the hoteliers of North Cyprus may soon wish to learn: “ Tervetuloa Pohjois-Kyprokselle !” which is how the Finns say “Welcome to North Cyprus”!
The reason that those in the hospitality industry may be rolling these new words off their tongue is that in February 2015, twice weekly new charter flights will fly from Helsinki to Ercan Airport, operated by Northern Travel in association with CypernSun. In 2014 the number of tourists to North Cyprus from Finland was already up by 50% on the previous year as Finnish people, attracted by the excellent Euro-Lira exchange rates, low hotel and affordable property prices, increasingly selected the golden shores of North Cyprus as their preferred holiday destination. The arrival of the new charter flights looks set to increase this number even further.
The tour operator CypernSun has launched a major advertising campaign in Finland which, with the help of Finnish celebrities such as this year’s Miss Finland Bea Toivonen and her 1st and 2nd runner-ups has also hugely raised the profile of North Cyprus in Finland. In 2015, it seems certain that the tourist hotspots of Kyrenia, Famagusta and Nicosia/Lefkosa will be increasingly frequented by those from more northerly Scandinavian countries.
Many of those new arrivals to Cyprus from Finland are astonished at the affordable prices in the TRNC ( Turkish Republic of North Cyprus ) and so have also begun to invest in a holiday property. A villa in North Cyprus costs the same as an unmodernised lake-side summer cottage in Finland without electricity and running water! Hence with villa prices starting at 100,000 euros, the new flights will certainly attract a new generation of Finnish second homeowners in North Cyprus.
North Cyprus International (NCI) clients Jukka and Seija from Helsinki in Finland originally purchased their Lapta holiday home in 2012 and have been delighted with their purchase and the beachfront holidays they can now enjoy, year- round, in the much warmer climate.
Says Jukka “We originally visited North Cyprus for one night in April 2011 while on holiday in Paphos. We had read about North Cyprus and decided to jump on a bus to Nicosia. We crossed the border, took a small and cosy dolmus bus to Girne and immediately fell in love with the friendly atmosphere. At beautiful Kyrenia Harbour, we met the sales director from NCI who was kind enough to show us around at very short notice. What we loved about North Cyprus was the friendliness of the people, the mountains close to the sea and the low prices. The reason we bought our home in North Cyprus was the perfect Mediterranean location with a short flight time and excellent price to quality ratio. The best things we have discovered are both that the winter months in North Cyprus are like the summer in Finland and that the natural landscape is very beautiful. Have you ever seen a turtle nest or a wild donkey? And history is everywhere: we can trek to St. Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara mountaintop castles, Lambousa at the seashore, Girne castle, Salamis and Soli, Sinai and St Andreas monasteries – the list is endless. We are encouraging our friends to come too, as we believe that North Cyprus is very attractive as a holiday and property investment destination because of the mountains, the sea and the safety.”
There are quite a few links between North Cyprus and Finland. For example, over 10,000 Finns have at one time served in the UNFICYP peacekeeping forces in Cyprus, and there are other links which are less well known. One of the founders of the brand new Korineum Golf and Beach Resort near Esentepe was from Finland: a well-respected Finnish businessman and developer Mr Kauko Rastas. Although he has now sadly passed away, as a celebration of his life and vision and in order to respect his memory, the Korineum holds an annual Tournament called the Kauko Cup in April of every year. Members of the Rastas family, as well as a growing number of Finnish, Estonian and Scandinavian golfers, attend the event, joined by many other international golf enthusiasts.
Our North Cyprus International Sales Director believes that the new NCI property range offers a perfect selection of hand-picked, luxury villas and apartments for Finnish and Scandinavian investors. “With winter temperatures in Helsinki regularly hitting -25 degrees C – something I myself have personally experienced – the mild winter climate of Northern Cyprus provides the ideal haven for Finnish people wishing to escape the cold winter in Finland. The new charter flights will provide an easy and cost-effective way for Finns and other Scandinavian visitors to enjoy the Mediterranean climate instead. We at NCI have an established track record with Finnish property investors and can offer a structured, time-effective 2-3 day tour of luxury second home properties, many with developer mortgages, private pools and with an option for custom designing the home and adding private sauna and Jacuzzi if required.”
So “ Tervetuloa Pohjois-Kyprokselle !” to all – and we at North Cyprus International hope to welcome many more Finns to North Cyprus very soon.