August sees record in tourist arrivals, ytd up 5%
Tourist arrivals in August were the highest ever, rising 5.1% year-on-year to 392,272, while the January-August figures also showed an increase of 6.2% y-o-y to 1,842,700, according to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
Monthly arrivals saw a revival of the British market, with tourist numbers up 15.7% y-o-y to 156,701, followed by Israel (+27.3% to 16,802), Germany (+67.5% to 13,997) and Greece (+19.8% to 8,949), with increases also recorded from Ukrane, Poland and Lebanon.
The CTO said that the year-to-date figures showed that the 19.6% drop in tourists from Russia and Scandinavia (10.1%), was more than compensate by an increase from other markets.
In the first eight months of the year, increases were recorded from the UK (16.3%), Germany (34.8%), Israel (46.2%), Greece (41.6%), France (30.6%), Holland (41.8%), Poland (38%) and Ukraine (15.8%).
The official “summer season” arrivals from April to August also marked a new record, up 5.2% y-o-y to 1,652,710, based on the benchmark year of 2001.
The CTO said in an announcement that the whole sector should remain vigilant to keep up a steady increase of arrivals at a time when foreign earnings and services are the main revenue earners for the economy that has just seen two consecutive quarters of growth and officially exited recession after three years.
However, the next big challenge should be tackling seasonality, the CTO said, explaining that incentives such as subsidising unemployed skilled workers and lower winter tariffs for electricity should continue through the winter months as well, when as many hotels as possible should remain open.