By George Psyllides
THE CYPRUS Tourism Organisation (CTO) is satisfied with the increase in tourist arrivals in October as well as the increase in revenue in the previous two months.
Tourism revenues rose 21.9 per cent year-on-year in September, to €353.4m, the statistics service said on Friday.
August also recorded a rise of 12 per cent compared with last year. Revenue reached €349.5m compared with €312.1m in August 2012.
Tourism revenues up to September rose to around €1.7b compared with some €1.6b in the respective period of 2012.
Belgian tourists topped per capita spending with €1,263, followed by Russians at €1,163, Swiss with €1,040, Dutch at €1,031 and the British tourists with €1,019.
Tourist arrivals in October rose 4.4 per cent to 273,587, compared with 261,997 in the same month in 2012.
However, overall arrivals so far this year were down 2.5 per cent on the previous year, the statistics service said. Arrivals from Russia increased by 48.5 per cent year-on-year in October to 69,326. Tourist arrivals from the UK dropped 1.8 per cent to 105,081, the service said.
Meanwhile, an 8.8 per cent decrease was recorded in the number of Cyprus residents travelling abroad in October this year compared to the same last year. In 2012 a total of 105,059 residents travelled abroad, while last month only 95,788 went abroad, according to the service.
CTO chief Alecos Orountiotis expressed his complete satisfaction with the figures.
“It is great to see the support the economy has received from tourism especially during such a difficult year.
Despite many setbacks, we have now reached the point where we have limited the decline in tourist arrivals to 2.5 per cent, while revenues recorded a phenomenal growth exceeding 8 per cent from the beginning of the year,” he said.
The figures prove, the CTO chief added, that tourism continues to be the economy’s steam engine and through cooperation with all of the industry’s stakeholders, 2014 can be a successful year.
“The numbers speak for themselves and prove that we are moving in the right direction and that we are resisting the effects of the crisis and reversing the negative climate which were created by the Eurogroup’s decision,” CTO director-general Marios Hannides said.
The CTO’s hard work, in cooperation with its tourist partners has clearly benefitted the country and its economy, he added.
Hannides said that the CTO is by no means becoming complacent and has shown that these positive figures can help lay the foundations to further develop tourism on the island.