Tourist arrivals up 15% in September, a new record


By Stelios Orphanides

Tourist arrivals rose 15 per cent year-on-year in September, to 483,716, which is an all-time high for the month, mainly on a strong increase in incoming tourism from secondary markets, the statistical service said.

In January to September, the number of tourist arrivals also rose an annual 15 per cent, to 3,001,603, also a record figure for this period, Cystat said in a statement on its website. Tourism accounts for roughly a quarter of Cyprus’s economy, which is expected to expand 3.6 per cent this year.

Cystat said 89 per cent of total arrivals last month came to the island for vacation while 7.7 per cent to visit friends or relatives. The rest came for business.

Fifteen months after UK voters voted to leave the European Union, arrivals from the UK, Cyprus’s largest source of tourism, rose 11 per cent, to 165,728, last month compared to September last year. The number tourists from Russia, the island’s second-largest source of rose 6.2 per cent, to 121,516.

The number of tourists from Israel rose 78 per cent, to 31,561, compared to a year before, while that from Sweden, Germany, and Greece rose 15 per cent to, 22,428, 66 per cent, to 51,533, and 3.9 per cent, to 15,550, respectively, Cystat said. Arrivals from Poland rose 80 per cent, to 8,681.

On the other hand, the number of tourists from Ukraine, France, and Belgium dropped 22 per cent last month, to 6,464, 18 per cent, to 3,050, and 30 per cent, to 3,056, respectively, compared to September 2016.


About Author

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

  • Philippos

    …and as I remember last year the Belgians were the top spenders per head and now they are leaving us, I wonder why? Anyone at CTO have any idea?. We are not yet equipped for this many low spending tourists who are now trashing our country, Suddenly we have become a Russian Playground and it really is quite a horrible resort environment and we are going to live to regret it.

    • Anna Shakalis

      Whilst the tourist arrivals have increased there has not been any facility’s to accommodate them! Larnaca airport just cannot cope with the influx as is seen on charter days! Huge lines of people outside departure waiting to check in no room to swing a cat in the departure lounge! Many people I have spoken to have said they will not come back as the chaos has put them off!

      • Evergreen

        Yes, its a mess.

      • Philippos

        ..well with a Government seeking 6 Million Tourists, just double your comments and invest in a Bunk Bed Manufacturer and a (Chinese) Sun Tan Lamp Supplier for the tourists who draw the Night Beach Tickets. Yes, its a bloody disaster projected as success by those who only have one parameter, namely “Arrivals”. At least the article “confessed’ to 7% ish of Business Travellers and a percentage of Cypriots returning home , in the figures. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and the first impression is truly horrible now and for much longer than in the past. Ah well, still lots of Russians to disappoint before we have exhausted that nations population

      • GSP

        And Paphos airport is even worse.

    • cyprus observer

      Well said

  • cyprus observer

    Oh so easy to be complacent with this one statistic……beware, the economy is far from fixed.

  • AnalogMind