By Stelios Orphanides
Tourist arrivals rose 9.7 per cent in April, to 314,143, compared to a year before on a strong performance of a number of secondary markets, the statistical service said.
Arrivals from the UK, from which Cyprus traditionally attracts the bulk of incoming tourist flow, rose an annual 4.1 per cent last month, to 110,689, while those from Russia, the second most important source of tourism, rose 4.3 per cent, to 49,040, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Thursday. Arrivals from Greece rose 25 per cent, to 20,347, while those from Germany and Israel fell 18 per cent, to 19,728, and 21 per cent, to 16,951, respectively.
In April, arrivals from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark rose an annual 76 per cent, to 3,043, 43 per cent, to 11,857, and 45.3 per cent, to 3,510 respectively, Cystat said. Arrivals from Poland and Ukraine also rose 73 per cent, to 7,627, and 70 per cent, to 5,370 respectively. The number of French tourists fell 14 per cent last month, to 4,116.
In the first four months of the year, the number of tourists visiting Cyprus rose 20 per cent, to 683,581, compared to the respective period of 2017, Cystat said.
Four in five tourists said vacations were the purpose of their journey to Cyprus while 12 per cent said they came to visit relatives and friends, Cystat said. The remaining 7.7 per cent said they visited Cyprus for business.
In a separate statement, Cystat said that the number of Cypriots who travelled abroad last month was 113,477, down 3.2 per cent, compared to April last year.