September record for tourism, arrivals up 15% y-o-y
September saw a new monthly record in tourist arrivals, up 14.8% year-on-year, to 483,716, according to the Passengers Survey of the Statistical Service Cystat.
For the nine-month period of January to September, total arrivals reached 3,001,603, up from 2,617,218 this time last year, an increase of 14.7%.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom were up 10.8% in September compared to same month in 2016, with an increase of 6.2% for tourists from Russia.
Increases were also recorded from Israel (77.5%), Sweden (15.1%) and Germany (65.5%). A 21.5% drop was recforded in tourist arrivals from Ukraine.
The United Kingdom and Russia account for 34.3% and 25.1% of all arrivals, respectively, while arrivals from Israel comprise 6.5%, Sweden 4.6% and Germany 4.5%.
“Today’s recovery is free from the two basic distortions that described the pre-crisis levels. That’s why growth rates before the crisis have been described as false and unsustainable,” he said, adding that structural reforms have spared the economy from the fundamental distortions rendering the economic model more sustainable.”
Proceeds from VAT, he said, without increasing the VAT rate, are significantly higher, contributions to the Social Security Fund confirm a gradual but significant improvement in the real economy yielding an increase in public revenue that surpassed the reduction of cancellation of taxes realised this year, such as the temporary contribution of employees both in the public and the private sector.
Georgiades noted that despite IMF projections that the debt to GDP ratio will decline below 100% in two years, Ministry projections expect debt to decline below the 100% mark in a few weeks time.