The title was awarded on 14th of September 2012, while the official designation took place in May 2013.
Paphos / Pafos is known for its cultural heritage, but as Chief Operating Officer Marina Vryonidou–Yiangou stated in an interview with Cyprus News,
"Like other coastal cities, whose rapid expansion in favour of the tourist industry has had detrimental environmental and cultural impact, Paphos was a city and region endowed with natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. For years greed, political rivalry, complacency and lack of planning have turned it from a quaint visitor-friendly town to a mass tourist, real estate destination with all the consequences that these activities entail. With the 2013 collapse of the economy and our traditional economic models in shambles, not just Paphos, but the whole of Cyprus needs redevelopment and renewal for any possible hope of future prosperity. Cultural and heritage tourism represents a major area of growth in the world tourism market. But investment in this obvious, yet neglected sector in Cyprus needs vision, proper planning and above all sustainability."
Source: Cyprus News "At the helm of Pafos 2017" Published on: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 17:06:05 GMT http://incyprus.philenews.com/en-gb/local-news/4422/41321/at-the-helm-of-pafos-2017
Concept / Objectives
Pafos wishes to become the most hospitable capital of Europe thought to be done best by turning its open-air sites into an Open-Air Factory of Culture. By taking advantage of its archeological sites, squares, streets, beaches, the aim is to bring the cultural activities of the city closer to its citizens.
Due to being 'European Cultural City' (editor: note the absence of the term 'capital') in 2017, Paphos has adopted according to its geographical position in being at the crossroad of Eastern Mediterranean, the slogan: “Linking Continents, Bridging Cultures”. The hope is that through such a concept, that it will be possible to link the East and the West, bridge people and cultures. It is hoped that the city becomes in the eyes of Europe and the world a place of cultural collaboration and peaceful coexistence.