Weekend Post (South Africa)

Record tourism year for Cyprus

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CYPRUS saw its best ever receipts from tourism last year in a record year for the Mediterran­ean holiday island considered a regional safe haven.

Tourism income last year reached ß2.36- billion (R32.6-billion) compared to ß2.11- billion (R29.1-billion) in 2015, an 11.9% increase, according to official data.

The previous spending record by holidaymak­ers was ß2.17- billion (R30-billion) in 2001. Last year’s increase was also the biggest annual percentage rise since 2011.

The surge in tourist spending coincides with a record year in arrivals, with 3.18 million people visiting Cyprus last year.

The island has benefited from a surge in arrivals from its largest markets Britain and Russia, as well as a revival in those coming from Greece and Israel.

The influx is a boon for Cyprus, which has returned to growth following a ß10- billion (R138.1-billion) rescue package to save its crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013.

Income from tourism accounts for about 12% of the eurozone member's gross domestic product and is credited with ensuring a relatively quick recovery. – AFP

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