By Stelios Orphanides
The number of tourist arrivals rose last month 14 per cent to 472,450, the highest ever recorded in June, compared to the respective month of 2016, among saturation signs from the UK and Russia, the two major sources of incoming tourism, the statistical service said.
The increase in June was mainly on a rise in arrivals from all countries excluding the UK and Russia, which rose an annual 58 per cent to 209,369, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday. Arrivals from the UK, traditionally the main source of incoming tourism, rose 1.2 per cent to 150,532 while those from Russia rose 2.1 per cent to 129,890.
Arrivals from Israel rose 89 per cent last month to 28,044 compared with June 2016, while those from Sweden, Germany and Greece rose 25 per cent to 21,136, 93 per cent to 18,363, and 9.8 to 18,185 respectively, Cystat said. On the antipode, arrivals from Ukraine and France dropped an annual 28 per cent to 7,382 and 19 per cent to 2,772 respectively.
From January to June, total arrivals rose 17 per cent to 1,463,206 compared to the respective six-month period last year, Cystat said. Arrivals from the UK rose 9.7 per cent in the first half of the year, while those from Russia rose 11 per cent to 332,982.
In June, the share of visitors from the UK and Russia in total arrivals accounted for 32 per cent and 28 per cent compared with 36 per cent and 31 per cent, Cystat said. In the first six months of the year, the share of British and Russian tourists visiting Cyprus shrank to 35 per cent and 23 per cent from 37 per cent and 23 per cent a year before.
In a separate statement, Cystat said that the number of Cypriots who travelled abroad last month rose an annual 9.4 per cent in June to 110,235.