By Stelios Orphanides
Tourist arrivals rose last month 14 per cent to 523,651 compared with the respective month last year, the highest ever in the month of August- mainly on an increase in visitors from secondary markets, the statistical service said.
Arrivals from the UK, traditionally Cyprus’ main source of incoming tourism, rose in August an annual 7.9 per cent to 185,831 more than offsetting a 2.5 per cent drop in arrivals from Russia which fell to 119,829, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday.
Arrivals from Israel almost doubled in August to 52,944 compared with a year before, while those from Greece and Germany rose 19 per cent and 55 per cent to 12,420 and 20,317 respectively, Cystat said. The number of Polish tourists more than doubled to 8,537, while those from Lebanon, Sweden and Norway rose 14,381, 18,303 and 7,205 respectively.
In January to August, rose 15 per cent to 2,517,887 which is the highest ever in that period and exceed the number of arrivals in the entire 2014, Cystat said. This was mainly on increased arrivals from other markets as the number of British and Russian tourists rose a mere 8.6 and 4.7 per cent.
Directly or indirectly, tourism accounts for roughly a quarter of Cyprus’s economy, forecast to expand this year 3.6 per cent.