Tourist arrivals at 13-year high
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).