Tourist ar­rivals at 13-year high

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The num­ber of tourist ar­rivals in the first seven months of this year were the best since 2002, Cyprus Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion Chair­man An­ge­los Loizou said, as ar­rivals in the Jan­uary-July pe­riod reached 1.45 mil­lion, up 6.5% from a year ear­lier and up 8.5% in July.

The fig­ures con­firm that the in­crease in the num­ber of hol­i­day­mak­ers from the UK has far over­taken the drop in ar­rivals from Rus­sia, af­fected by an eco­nomic cri­sis and sanc­tions due to the cri­sis in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Com­ment­ing on data re­leased by the Sta­tis­ti­cal Ser­vice Cy­s­tat, Loizou said that this record is at­trib­uted to var­i­ous fac­tors such as the ex­change rate of the pound ster­ling against the euro, which favoured ar­rivals from the UK, the op­er­a­tion of new flights to Cyprus, im­proved air ac­cess to the is­land de­spite the demise of Cyprus Air­ways, as well as the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween all stake­hold­ers in the tourist in­dus­try.

Tourist ar­rivals for the Jan­uary-July pe­riod reached 1,450,427, an in­crease of 6.5% com­pared with 1,361,794 of the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod of 2014.

Loizou noted that this is the first time that monthly tourist ar­rivals ex­ceeded 400,000 which con­sti­tutes a record in the history of Cyprus’ tourism.

He pointed out how­ever that there can be no com­pla­cency, not­ing “it is im­per­a­tive that the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween all stake­hold­ers con­tin­ues mainly to curb sea­son­al­ity and main­tain and fur­ther im­prove the tourism per­for­mance that has a di­rect im­pact on the eco­nomic in­dexes and af­fect pos­i­tively the ef­forts to re­turn to eco­nomic growth and eco­nomic progress.”

Ac­cord­ing to Loizou, ar­rivals from the United King­dom rose by 16.5% year on year, from Ger­many by 28.6%, Is­rael by 53.7%, Greece by 44.5%, France 36.7% and Hol­land by 38%.

On the ba­sis of the monthly Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey, Cy­s­tat said that tourist ar­rivals reached 414,527 in July com­pared to 381,955 in the same month last year, up 8.5%.

An in­crease of 22.5% was recorded in tourist ar­rivals from the United King­dom, from 127,152 in July 2014 to 155,813 in July this year.

Ar­rivals from Is­rael leaped 65%, from 10,311 to 17,015, whereas ar­rivals from Greece in­creased 55.8%, from 10,127 to 15,780 this year.

On the other hand a de­crease of 17.6% was recorded in tourist ar­rivals from Rus­sia, which dropped to 96,085 in July 2015 from 116,582 in July 2014, a 1.5% de­crease from Swe­den (17,181 com­pared to 17,446) and a 12.8% de­crease from Nor­way (9,618 com­pared to 11,029 last year).

Mean­while, fewer res­i­dents of Cyprus trav­elled abroad in July com­pared to the same month last year, Cy­s­tat data showed.

On the ba­sis of the re­sults of the monthly Pas­sen­ger Sur­vey, 115,105 res­i­dents of Cyprus re­turned from a trip abroad in July com­pared to 129,602 in the cor­re­spond­ing month last year, a de­crease of 11.2%.

Fur­ther­more, in July there was a de­crease of 4.8% of trips to Greece (53,487 in July 2015 com­pared to 56,195 in July 2014) and a 47.7% de­crease of trips to the United King­dom (13,716 com­pared to 26,227 last year).

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