Impacts of Tourism

From Abandoned Ghost Town to Dark Tourism Destination

Main image to the post From Abandoned Ghost Town to Dark Tourism Destination

Varosha, formerly a luxurious holiday destination known for attracting Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor, fell into ruin after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, causing its residents to evacuate, leaving behind their homes and businesses to decay. The area, now controlled by Northern Cyprus, remained deserted and off-limits for decades, with nature reclaiming parts of the neighborhood and sea turtles nesting on its beaches.

In a surprising turn of events in October 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Northern Cyprus's prime minister decided to reopen Varosha to visitors, transforming it into a dark tourism site, where travelers can explore the abandoned buildings and learn about its tragic history. Despite the area being spruced up with services like canteens and umbrellas, Varosha still stands as a chilling reminder of its past, attracting tourists interested in its dark and haunting allure.

Despite being a popular spot for tourists, Varosha remains a contentious issue as two United Nations resolutions have long called for the return of the area to its former residents who were turned into refugees. The reopening of Varosha has sparked discussions at international forums like the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, with hopes that the neighborhood will one day return to being a "living town" for its original inhabitants.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09