Ayia Napa mayor Yiannis Karousos, who has made a name for himself for trying to turn away “low-quality young tourists” in his town, is asking for a noise pollution law to be repealed so that nightclubs could be fined for playing music too loud.
Karousos said in a press release on Wednesday that a noise pollution law is unworkable for officials and cannot be applied because it stipulates that nightclubs can play music according to operating hours based on city ordinance regulations.
This means that clubs playing music at commercially loud levels, as widely accepted within the entertainment industry, can do so lawfully as long as they comply with the operating hours of the area.
In other words, there are no quiet after-hours for clubs in Ayia Napa late at night except when shutting down at closing time, which is 2.30 a.m. on weekdays and 3.30 a.m. on weekends.
Karousos believes this is damaging tourism in his town, which he hopes to turn around by 2030 as the new Monte Carlo of the Mediterranean.
The mayor previously declared unwelcome in Ayia Napa the binge-drinking tourists, known for indulging in rude behaviour not appropriate for a resort town famous for its beaches and vibrant club scene.
He says tour operators have been asked not to bring misbehaving vacationers to Ayia Napa as the municipality works to clean up its image as a destination.
The resort town has been successful in drawing vast investment in new hotels and apartments and an ambitious marina is currently under construction, worth €220 million set to open next year.
But more is needed to put a stop to tourism “not in line with our future strategy and our vision,” according to Karousos, who said he had warned lawmakers that new laws on noise pollution would not go far enough to help his town.
The mayor is calling on officials to repeal the law and the recent amendment in the criminal code so that authorities can begin issuing fines to nightclubs that go over the decibel limit regardless of operating hours.
Karousos also blames a possible drop in tourism arrivals on the country’s inability to work together to attract a different kind of visitors, who often choose to go to Turkey and Egypt instead. [Kathimerini Cyprus]