The future of Varosha is inextricably linked to that of Cyprus as a whole. Varosha is a strategic piece in the jigsaw that will need to be completed before the island is at peace once more.
It is likely that Varosha will be ceded to the south before the final resolution of the problem and probably in exchange for partial unblocking of Turkey’s plans for accession to the EU. What happens to Varosha in the meantime is more or less guaranteed. Access will be still be denied to all but the UN and the Turkish army, although in the lead up to serious negotiations it is likely that delegations from the Republic will be allowed to visit the fenced off area.
The exciting yet inconceivably large issue of its future after the handover is yet another matter. To repair and renovate will take billions of euros. To demolish, clear the site and rebuild would probably take billions more, but the ultimate aim of the Republic is upon restoring its pride. Varosha was a key player in the thriving tourism industry prior to 1974 and to restore pride it needs to regain its place at the pinnacle of eastern Mediterranean tourism. Funding must inevitably come from a range of national and international sources, from the EU, from the UN and from the island’s government itself. It will take many years to achieve, but the example of the regeneration of Ledra Street in the capital shows that it is possible.
Who knows, ten years from now, the glorious white sandy beaches of Varosha, fringed with luxury resort hotels may yet be the top tourist destination founded upon its beauty but bolstered by the curiosity of the tourists eager to say they’ve holidayed in the ghost town of Cyprus.