By Stelios Orphanides
The number of tourist arrivals rose 15 per cent last year to 3,652,073, beating the previous year’s record figure, mainly on a strong rise in numbers of visitors from secondary markets, the statistical service said on Wednesday.
In December alone, the number of tourist arrivals rose 13 per cent to 98,924 compared to the same month of 2016, Cystat said in a statement on its website.
Last year, the number of tourist arrivals from the UK, whose economy plunged into uncertainty after voters decided in June 2016 to leave the European Union and from which Cyprus traditionally attracts the bulk of its visitors, rose 8.3 per cent to 1,253,839, Cystat said. The number visitors from Russia, Cyprus’s second largest source of incoming tourism, rose last year 5.5 per cent to 824,494.
The number of Israelis who visited Cyprus last year rose 76 per cent to 261,966, which made the neighbouring country Cyprus’s third largest tourist market, according to the data. The number of German and Greek visitors rose 52 per cent and 5.9 per cent to 188,826 and 169,712 respectively while the number of tourists from Sweden rose increased 19 per cent to 136,725.
In a separate statement, the number of Cyprus residents who travelled abroad in December rose 5 per cent to 110,849, Cystat said.