Tourist arrivals rise 15% in 2017 to new record


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.


About Author

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

  • almostbroke

    All wonderful and congratulations. Make hay while the sun shines ! It won’t last for ever ! Tourism is cyclical ! Anyone any idea if the manta of ‘maximum Profit for minimum input has eased since this bounty of all these tourist arrivals!

    • Banjo

      In Cyprus , the sun shining is one thing that will ‘ last forever ‘ 🙂

  • Kevin Ingham

    Its good news, but let’s face it Cyprus and the product it offers had very little to do with the rise.

    The challenge now is to continue to improve.

    It will be impossible to get the numbers rising by that amount every year, so in order to continue the economic benefits of tourism it becomes more important to improve the quality of it and the amount of time and money tourists spend whilst here.That requires a fair bit of forward thinking and planning

    • European Citizen

      Very good point! We need to start catering to the tourist sector again! These are the people that feed our economy every year, but the quality of services offered has drastically declined in the past 7 years due to the economical pressures created by the incompetent government.

  • European Citizen

    How does the statistical service gather information about visitors from other EU countries? I don’t remember my passport being scanned anywhere – the border control just looks at it and lets you pass. So how are these numbers obtained?

  • Veritas

    And how do we increase our natural resources to match this number of visitors.
    Correct, it can’t be done. For example,water levels are already alarmingly low.
    Soon it will be necessary to impose water restrictions in hotels. Tourists can’t get a away with over using water on the back of the local residents.

    • flyingscot11

      Veritas, I can remember being on holiday in Paphos in 1998, when water tankers were delivering supplies to hotels along Poseidonas Avenue, My wife and I did feel guilty about this and limited our use of water. However, this guilt soon faded when seeing the apparent waste of water around the resort, e.g washing down patios, watering the grass EVERY day !

      • Veritas

        I fully agree.
        There must be much harsher penalties for anyone watering pavements, patios, lawns etc. and they must be implemented!
        It’s too much ignorance among locals as well, regarding the scarcity of our natural resources.
        We all have a responsibility to look after Mother Earth.

        • Cydee

          Time to invent the Water Warden; replete with camera; th fines will pay his/her wages.

      • Banjo

        Watering the pavement is a national hobby ……. they can’t get it to grow though ;))

      • Philippos

        That is exactly why we have the problem in the first place. too many ignorant morons per sq metre including in the Ministries, Town Halls and Government. In 2008, if we had issue FREE, flow restrictors to all households and hotels we would not have needed to import or pay for water from Greece and we should have been saving water for the last ten years

  • AnalogMind

    Bravo! Bravo!

  • Philippos

    How many of the 15% own a yacht and would use Paralimni Marina? ALL the Israelis? All 261,000 of them would have to use the new Marina for at least week during our 200 day tourist season to make it viable