ECONOMY: Cyprus tourism revenue declines for first time in 10 months

Cyprus witnessed a marginal 0.6% dip in revenue from tourism in February, the first decline for 10 months, official data showed Wednesday.

Tourism income slipped 0.6 per cent to 52.4 mln euros compared to 52.7 mln in the same month of 2018. It is the first decline in receipts since April 2018.

However, revenue for the first two months January-February was up 1 per cent at Euros 92 mln from Euros 91.1 mln last.

Britain constitutes the main source of tourism for Cyprus with a market share of 34.7 per cent followed by Russia with 11.8 per cent and Greece is third with 10.4 per cent.

The eastern Mediterranean island had benefited from its reputation as a regional safe haven as unrest has hit the tourism sectors of its traditional competitors Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey.

Although, Turkey and Egypt are now cheaper destinations and becoming more popular.

Expenditure per person for February decreased by 4.4 per cent to Euros 498.81 from Euros 519.43 the previous year.

Spending per person/per day increased 4.9 per cent (from Euros 57.08 to Euros 59.86).

There was also an 8.8 per cent decrease in the average length of stay from 9.1 days to 8.3 days.

In February, the most frugal visitors were the Norwegians spending an average of Euros 34.68 a day while the most extravagant were the Dutch spending a whopping Euros 156.58 per-day.

Expenditure per person for January � February dipped 4.5% to Euros 490.89 from Euros 513,89 in the same period of 2018.

Spending per person/per day for January � February 2019 increased 1.1% on last year (from Euros 56.47 to Euros 57.08).

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 economic recovery with GDP growth touching 4 per cent.

Revenue from tourism rose 2.7 per cent year-on-year in 2018 with income estimated at a record high Euros 2.71 bln.

Record-breaking income followed an unprecedented year for arrivals when Cyprus welcomed a record 3.93 million tourists in 2018, smashing the previous record set in 2017 by a big 7.8 per cent

In January, Cyprus swore in its first junior tourism minister, tasked with heading a new dedicated department to replace the state-funded Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

Source: The Financial Mirror