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.