Ayia Napa bans young travellers seeking ‘cheap thrills’

The resort town of Ayia Napa on the southern coast of Cyprus has fast become one of the most cosmopolitan tourist resorts of the Mediterranean. Over the last few decades, it has gained a reputation for drunken debauchery and cheap thrills. Groups of rowdy young people, especially bachelor/bachelorette parties, often descend on this coastal town.

However, Yiannis Karousos, the mayor of Ayia Napa, much like his counterparts at Magaluf, Ibiza, and Hvar, has made it clear that this kind of “low-quality youth” is no longer welcome. Both tour operators and the police have been asked to assist in this new ban.

Wild party goers will no longer be welcome at Ayia Napa

Karousos maintains that this “small number of our visitors … turns away the remaining 90 percent, with their negative actions and behaviors.” He also plans to install a new CCTV system across the town to identify this kind of “illegal behavior”.

This move comes after the city saw a vast investment for development, including a €220 million marina set to open next year. Karaousos believes that the “organized youth which misbehaves, [and] does not respect the laws of Cyprus,” creates a negative publicity that will only mar the vision for the future.

Nissi beach and Cavo Greco on the Mediterranean Sea in Ayia Napa
Following a Tradition

Ayia Napa is hardly the first resort town to implement such a ban. In 2014, the Majorcan resort of Magaluf cracked down hard on binge drinking and lewd antics, while the Croatian island of Hvar introduced fines for numerous alcohol-related misdemeanors. The local government of Kavos, in Corfu, has also brought in strict regulations.

Yiannis Karousos likely hope that Ayia Napa will follow in the footsteps of Magaluf. Since its crackdown, it has transformed into a much more upmarket destination, mainly appealing to families and couples.


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