Cyprus official sets goal for U.S. visitors

NEW YORK -- Cyprus' minister of commerce, industry and tourism, Nicos Rolandis, said he plans to increase the number of U.S. visitors from 30,000 annually to 150,000 by 2000.

To achieve that, he is encouraging the development of golf courses, casinos, marinas and theme parks on the Mediterranean's third-largest island.

Officials of the Cyprus Tourism Organization noted that of its 2 million European visitors annually, 40% are repeat guests. These visitors already know the virtues of Cyprus, according to the tourism officer, including the country's ruins and art spanning 9,000 years; its diverse local cuisine; villages that remain unchanged from centuries ago, and the island's expansive beaches.

Showcasing these features should attract more American guests, officials said.

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