October tourist arrivals slump 8.1% as Russians stay home, Cystat Says (Update)

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By Marie Kambas
The number of tourist visiting Cyprus in October fell 8.1 percent to 251,453 compared to the same respective month a year ago, the statistical service said.

In the first ten months of the year, tourist arrivals increased to 1.5 percent to 2,302,937 compared to the respective period last year, Cystat said in a statement on its website today.

Arrivals from Russia, Cyprus’s second largest market in terms of incoming tourism, whose economy is hurt by sanctions and declining revenue from energy exports, fell 29 per cent in October to 49,030 compared to the same month last year,, while arrivals from the United Kingdom, Cyprus’s largest market, fell 3.8 per cent to 101,122, the statement said.

Victor Mantovani who owns Mantovani Plotin, a agency handling incoming tourism, said in a telephone interview, that he remains optimistic amid “big uncertainty about the Russian market” and added that in 2015 “tourist arrivals will remain at similar levels like this year, but we should not consider this satisfactory”. The same time, director general of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Zacharias Ioannides said that it is still “premature” to forecast on how the tourism industry will perform in 2015.

Minister of energy and tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Nov. 11, the United Kingdom and Germany may generate 100,000 additional arrivals next year which could offset an expected decline in arrivals from Russia mainly as the Russian currency continues to tumble.

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