Tourist revenue up 9.4%, first Brexit cracks visible

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By Stelios Orphanides

Revenue from tourism rose 9.4 per cent year-on-year in August, to €392.2m, with Cyprus getting a taste of the Brexit vote, the statistical service said.

The increase in revenue in August at a rate almost half of the increase in arrivals in the same month, was mainly due to an annual 6.4 per cent spending of tourists during their stay in Cyprus, to €855.14, and a 6.9 drop in their average daily expenditure, to €81.44, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday. The average length of stay rose marginally to 10.5 days. In January to August, total revenue from tourism rose an annual 14 per cent, to €1.6bn, Cystat said.

Visitors from the UK, who accounted for 38 per cent of total tourist arrivals and are traditionally the largest group of incoming tourism, stayed longer in Cyprus in August and spent less, which may reflect the devaluation of the pound following the June 23 Brexit decision, Cystat said. British tourists cut back more than 16 per cent of their overall spending, to €885.83, and 17 per cent of their average spending per day, to €76.36. This was accompanied by a 1.1 per cent extension of their average length of stay to 11.6 days.

The drop in revenue from Russian tourists, the second largest group of visitors, was to a very small extent offset by a 7.2 per cent increase of their average daily spending, to €90.03, Cystat said. Combined with a cut to the duration of their stay by 5.8 per cent, to 9.5 days, it generated a 0.2 per cent increase in their overall spending during their vacation, to €855.26.

Directly or indirectly, tourism accounts roughly for one fourth of the Cypriot economy, which emerged last year from a prolonged recession and is projected to grow almost 3 per cent this year.

Visitors from Germany, Israel and Sweden increased their spending 7.7 per cent, to €944.77, 3 per cent to, €721.50, and 5.5 per cent, to €659.07, respectively during their August holiday in Cyprus. Tourists from Greece reduced their spending 8.4 per cent to €394.31, Cystat said.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Big C

    No, the drop in spend more likely reflects the growth in all inclusive holidays. Some will be down to forex rates but there are just too many all inclusive options.

    Tax these hotels an additional bed tax to compensate but ring fence the income for specific tourist attraction/infrastructure spend. We need to encourage these people that in many cases do not leave the comfort of the pool and the sun bed out.

    • Colin Evans

      When are you, and the likes of you, going to get the message that all inclusive is what the customer is now demanding. They have become averse to being ripped off for poor quality, overpriced food, expensive drinks and overpriced tat. People have a specific budget and want to know that they will stay within that budget. And we will not mention the Taxi drivers, shall we? You, very conveniently, forget that these hotels make a profit from these holidaymakers. They employ staff who spend their wages in the local economy. To me, the only ones losing out are those that deserve to.

      • Big C

        Probably when people like you drop the attitude. Its people like you and the likes of you that contribute to the overall view. Attracting low value tourism that only helps the pockets of large hotel chains that in the main, take all taxable income offshore is not the solution.

        There are in most med countries and far beyond rip off venues and these are mostly located within the developed tourist line. Spain, France, Italy….no real difference.

        As many (even slightly educated tourists) know, a short venture off the tourist line is usually very rewarding.

        But your sound bite is also off tune. A great many of these people are first time tourists (they have little knowledge of Cyprus), so your little rant is I consider ignorant in targeting those with a contra opinion.

        So…..when are you going to post something that is far more reasoned in opinion rather than diatribe. Then I will listen with some respect.

        • Colin Evans

          It would appear that you would rather have more empty hotel bedrooms and unemployed staff in preference to catering for what the customer is demanding. Very far sighted of you!!

          • Big C

            Appearance and reality are entirely different. Many, many hotel staff are not local but brought in from overseas for seasons. Some stay and actually contribute to the economy but most do not. So in the main your argument is not as solid as you may consider. Its weak I am afraid,

            I see little value in a tourists turning up and spending most of their life in a compound. Some venture out, a lot do not, so I am not sure how exactly this truly benefits the country and the economy.

            Putting a tax on these hotel chains that ship most profits offshore and spending this on better tourist infrastructure has merit, but the continued growth in all inclusive is not a sustainable approach.

            Yes there are aspects of the tourist offer that need improvement and yes some should be condemned for pricing and service, but it becomes a downward spiral as putting tourist behind a hotel wall does not provide a source of revenue for all manner of businesses.

            A few business should not be used as an excuse when in truth there are many good businesses on the island that do offer value and service to both tourists, expats and locals.

            I can see little benefit in flying in tens of thousands just for them to experience little of Cyprus and contribute even less.

    • Mist

      Not to forget the sweet deal the hotels get on VAT

  • Mist

    Spain has blown all this CTO hype out of the water, Spain concentrated on UK/ Holland/ Scandies. Not Mauritius Greece and Tonga Don’t look at the percent look at the revenue.

  • Neroli

    I think it’s more tourists having all inclusive holidays

    • Philippos

      This was the huge opportunity missed in Agia Napa and we are going to get tower blocks instead, our own windy city.

  • Philippos

    These statistics are very interesting. The British booked their holidays to some large extent before Brexit, feeling richer so planning to stay longer. Come the reality of the day, the fall in GBP meant spending less and even less in a longer period. For 2017, you wouldn’t want to stay longer and you wouldn’t want to go to a EUR Destination with our price levels, if you were a Brit, now would you? There are ways that we could fix this, if only this wasn’t Cyprus. so lets ask the question, “What exactly is the plan to retain Brits?” Jesus, its so quiet, must be the end of the season…or is it the end of tourism? don’t look to CTO for an answer to that one.