Ayia Napa is a city of Cyprus in the District of Famagusta and an independent municipality since 1994.
It is located east of Dhekelia. Because of its sandy beaches, it is the most popular tourist destination in Cyprus.
According to the statistics of the Cyprus Tourism Organization for 2016, Ayia Napa hosted 585,000 tourist arrivals, about 18% of all arrivals in Cyprus, which generated 4,030,000 overnight stays representing 27.1% of the total overnight stays in Cyprus.
Ayia Napa’s contribution is significant in the GDP of Cyprus is significant, as it is estimated to contribute over 700 million annually to the Cypriot economy. The Cyprus Government recognizing this fact, in 2014, has designated Ayia Napa together with Paralimni as the urban center of the Famagusta province: A decision that is credited to the young Mayor Yiannis Karousos.
The name Ayia Napa comes from the monastery of the same name, which at the time of the Venetian occupation was located in the center of the city. The name ‘Ayia Napa’ means ‘holy of the forest’. The area was named after the icon of Our Lady of Napis, that is, the Holy of Holies, and was briefly named ‘Ayia Napa’.
The inhabitants’ origin is from Thessaloniki. Approximately 75% of the current inhabitants are descendants of the first Ayianapitus of Nikolaos Kemitzis, who in 1790 traveled from Thessaloniki to the area of Ayia Napa and reached the village of Panagia, which does not exist today, where he married the daughter of his priest village. Due to differences with the Ottomans, Kemitzis moved with his wife and children to the monastery of Agia Napa which was built around 800 AD.