Tourist arrivals up 21% in January amid signs of Russian market cracks

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By Stelios Orphanides

The number of tourist arrivals rose 21 per cent year-on-year last month, to 62,611, yet another all-time high for a January, defying a drop in the number of Russian tourists, the statistical service said.

The increase in arrivals was mainly on a 15 per cent annual rise of tourists from the UK, Cyprus’s largest market of incoming tourism, to 17,404, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. Arrivals from Greece, Israel, and Germany rose 35 per cent, to 11,436, 57 per cent, to 8,240, and 10 per cent, to 2,431, offsetting a 21 per cent slump in arrivals from Russia, Cyprus’s second largest market.

In a separate statement, Cystat said that the number of residents of Cyprus who travelled abroad last month fell an annual 1.1 per cent, to 107,759.

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About Author

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

  • Eye on Cyprus

    Hope they enjoyed the dust and rain.
    I hope that everything else made it a good trip for them. People work hard for their breaks.

    • Vaso

      So your blaming the dust and the rain on the RoC! Please!!!

      • Eye on Cyprus

        You have leaped to a fascinating conclusion and it was one hell of a leap.. You are evidently a Cypriot and feel that blame must be attached to EVERYTHING . . . everything but Cyprus.

        • Vaso

          Ha oh the weather is RoCs fault! Did you reread what you wrote! That’s very amusing!

          • Eye on Cyprus

            Much more fun to let you read what you THINK I wrote.

          • Vaso

            Then you are illiterate!

          • Eye on Cyprus

            How sad that some people feel the need to try and cover up their stupidity by nastiness. YOU are the one who reads what is not written. Some (who are literate) would describe that as illiteracy. Kindly point out the parts where I blamed Cyprus for the dust and rain. If you can’t (and you won’t find such); either apologise or shut up. Save your insults for your own kind.

          • Vaso

            “Hope they enjoyed the dust and rain.”
            Tell me isn’t that what you wrote? Maybe you forgot what you wrote! But i suppose your trying to cover up your attempt at sarcasm! You insult yourself!

          • Eye on Cyprus

            Yes! That’s what I wrote. I am well aware of what I wrote. Now tell me where I blamed Cyprus for the dust and rain; like you pretend that I did. Now, go away and bathe in your ignorance and venom: trying to be more productive and accurate in your comments; while eschewing personal insults (if you can).

          • Vaso

            So why say it!!! Anyone reading that would take it exactly how i took it! And now you try to correct yourself!

          • Eye on Cyprus

            Yawn! I think that you alone can interpret my statement as implying that Cyprus caused the dust and rain. I am most certainly NOT trying to correct myself. There is nothing to correct: other than your delusional interpretation and sundry infantile insults. I do not see your explanation of how and where I blamed Cyprus. You cannot. Now, go away!

          • Vaso

            Lol dear oh dear!

    • Banjo

      You call that rain …..

  • Douglas

    Great news and much safer for families in Cyprus compared with Middle East Countries.

  • Philippos

    I arrived into Larnaka in January, I wonder if I am a tourist for the purpose of these statistics. There were lots of English Residents on my flight, i wonder if they are tourists too. The REAL News here is the significant drop in Russian Visitors…Turkey is again open for business and the Russian Market is responding massively…so watch this space. Given recent news from UK about the decline of the restaurant business you can see that the Brits are being squeezed too. Very bad news all round, WAKE UP and smell the coffee!

    • Vaso

      Dear oh dear! The bitterness just ouzes our from your words!

      • Philippos

        Wake Up! You cannot run a tourist industry successfully like we do. Corrupt and unreliable information, rubbish planning, if any at all, frequent self congratulation for the results of terrorism elsewhere and total dependence on two clients, expedient responses and huge delays in implementation and constant focus on unrealistic targets. Wasted effort and money on pathetic “initiatives”,. Frankly George Skyrianides must be turning in his grave as we are now outpaced by the Turkish Republic. So to hell with oozing, your approach obviously requires me to lie along the party line just like the rest of the sycophants and if I don’t then that’s “Hate”. Arnoumai na to dexto.

        • Vaso

          Yes that’s why we have record upon record of high tourism! Just please stop!

          • Philippos

            That’s just camouflage for falling expenditure per capita and even worse, while world tourism has been increasing for the last ten years, our rate of increase does not get even close and in that period our “Arrivals” even went down in some of those years. If you examine the reason for the recent increase in Arrivals, it is disruption from traditional locations around us due to security worries. Now, of course that may continue or the “New” Tourists might even like us and come back. However, be warned, Russian bookings to Turkey for 2018 are going like a train and suddenly we have a monthly percentage drop of 15% for that Origin Market. Is it a monthly “Blip” or a “Trend” and even worse, have the UK figures been “Massaged” to compensate, bring in British Residents of Cyprus coming “home” after the new year. Add to that the significant number of bankruptcies in Russian operators and Travel agents and the market consolidation, prices for Russian Nationals Holidays are going up and we are not cheap in rouble terms at the moment. So, that’s why I think like I do, I try to look comprehensively at as many affecting factors as possible and then analyse. Just counting Arrivals, even if done properly doesn’t give you any valuable information except possibly now many passport officers to employ at points of entry and even that we got wrong last year

          • Vaso

            You talk a lot and it is all boils down to you can’t bare to think that RoC is doing well! You can analyse all you like, the bottom line is RoC is full to the brim with tourists and that is because we are safe, by and large friendly for people to visit, great value package holidays. The Russians aren’t the only ones with money although from walking down the seafront in Limassol they love it here too!

          • Philippos

            You bring to mind a couple of expressions that my Dear Departed Mother used to use quite frequently; “There’s none so blind as those who do not want to see” and “Pride comes before a fall”. Talking about full to the brim, have you seen the significant volume of winter tourists now in the Occupied Area, compared to the Republic? Now replicating that would be a success for us, I wonder if it is part of any plan that might exist to offset the possible drop in Summer Arrivals?

          • Vaso

            “The clear water and abundance of sun loungers means that Fig Tree Bay in Cyprus is one of the top rated beaches in Europe. On TripAdvisor, 70 per cent of reviewers have rated it as excellent and the beach is best known for the number of water sports on offer. One of the reviews read: ‘The water is so clear and pristine. One of the best beaches I’ve ever been to. Very lively and fun!!” This just announced today! We look after RoC!

          • Philippos

            No question that that is a fair description of Nafsika and great if you only come for the beach and spend all your time on an expensive sun lounger in Nafsika. It really doesn’t follow that we look after RoC. Quite frankly we don’t and we are going to pay for that gross neglect and single minded pursuit of profit. What is going to water the hazel nut trees of Pitsilia? Who is going to clear the sewerage and plastic from the waters of Kyklopos, not that far from Nafsika? Who will protect the natural environment that is not “Dasos”? Who will stop the illegal rubbish burning and release of toxins into the atmosphere not to mention the stench , even in tourist areas , including Nafsika during the tourist season?

  • AnalogMind

    Very impressive.

  • Vladimir

    I recently visited Ayia Napa and witnessed many hotels are in the process of building additional premises to their buildings.
    Big surprise for Cypriots is that certain (most popular) destinations are again on offer by travel agencies, incl. Egypt and Turkey and this summer Cypriots would need to lick asses to someone else instead of our people to somehow capitalize on their capital expenses…
    If Turkish Cyprus becomes open for tourists, which I would strongly advise Turks to do, then more beautiful beaches and cheaper hotels will entice away even those Russians and Brits who would come to the South, making the South abandoned paradise))
    In those additional premises, Cypriots could accommodate Syrian refugees))

  • martin

    all this huge rises in tourists is unreal if you add up all the numbers every month I recon half the world must be there in winter.i lived there for 7years and if you want a cool or sometimes very cold and rainy place and feb was sometimes around0 to 2c.this is the place.if you live in uk don’t go there if you want some heat.