A new record for tourist arrivals was set in November reaching 3.86 mln boosted by an influx of British, Russian and Israeli tourists.
The figures suggest that Cyprus could smash a new annual tourism record by breaking the 4 million mark, something that seemed unlikely at the start of 2019, especially after the collapse in September of tour giant Thomas Cook.
For the first 11 months to tourist arrivals increased 0.9% to 3,866,447 compared to 3,832,062 in the same period of 2018, outnumbering the total arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during the first eleven months of the year.
In November alone, tourist arrivals spiked 6.7% to 169,392 compared to 158, 685 in November 2018, according to the official Passengers Survey,
November 2019 had the highest volume of tourist arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during that specific month, the Statistical Service said.
According to the official data, tourist arrivals from the UK increased by 10.4% in November while an increase of 8.9% was recorded in tourists arriving from Russia and 59.3% from Israel.
There was a drop of 6.0% from key market Greece and a 33.5% plunge from Germany.
The UK constitutes the biggest source of tourism for Cyprus with a 32.6% share, second is Russia with 13.7% third largest is Greece 8.6% followed by Israel on 7.7%.
Cyprus annual tourist arrivals spiked 7.8 per cent in 2018 to a record 3.93 million as revenue touched a historic high of 2.71 billion euros.
Cypriot authorities said they would be satisfied to meet last year’s targets due to stiffer competition from cheaper neighbouring destinations like Turkey and the unforeseen impact of Brexit
The tourism boom helped Cyprus return to growth following a Euros 10-billion bailout to rescue its crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013.
Income from tourism now accounts for about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product and is credited with underpinning a quick recovery with GDP growth at around 3.5%.
More Cypriot residents travelled abroad
Some 106,654 residents of Cyprus returned from a trip abroad in November compared to 93,023 in the same month last year, recording an increase of 14.7%.
There was an increase of 2.7% in the trips to Greece (33,856 from 32,974 in November 2018) and a 3.5% increase to the United Kingdom (15,884 from 15,341).
Source: The Financial Mirror