Cyprus Mail

Tourism arrivals hit record level

Between January and July, overall arrivals rose 6.5 per cent to 1,450,427 compared to the respective period of 2014

TOURISM arrivals by the end of July, which reached 1,450,427, were the highest since 2002 and the third best on record after 2000 and 2001, Cyprus Tourism Organisation chairman Angelos Loizou said on Thursday.

The number of tourists visiting Cyprus in July itself rose to 414,527 which was 8.5 per cent more than in the same month last year, was also record in the history of the island’s tourism, Loizou said.

During the month arrivals from the UK, Cyprus’ largest source of visitors numbered 155,813. Arrivals from Greece, Germany and Israel rose 47 per cent, 56 per cent and 65 per cent respectively to 15,780, 9,856 and 17,015 compared to the same month a year ago.

The number of incoming tourists from Russia, Cyprus’ second largest source of tourism, fell 18 per cent in July to 96,085 compared to a year before, while the number of Swedes visiting Cyprus dropped 1.5 per cent to 17,181, Cystat said.

Between January and July, overall arrivals rose 6.5 per cent to 1,450,427 compared to the respective period of 2014.

“This is due to many different factors such as the rate of the euro to the [sterling] pound, which has favoured the British market, the launch of new flights to Cyprus to improve the accessibility, and the close cooperation between all stakeholders, and employees in the tourism industry,” said Loizou.

Regional problems that have affected Cyprus’ competitors had also helped to boost the island’s tourism and could still continue to do so, not just next year but even by October this year, he added.

Commenting on the statistical service’s figures Loizou said the increase in arrivals of 28,661 in July over the same month in 2014, “more than offset” a reduction of 20,497 arrivals from the Russian market, he said.

The increase in arrivals of 6.5 per cent during the first seven months which reached 1,450,427 in 2015 compared to 1,361,794 in 2014 in 2014 was due to a hike of 16.5 per cent from UK, Germany 28.6 per cent, Israel (53.7 per cent, Greece 44.5 per cent, France 36.7 per cent and the Netherlands 38 per cent.

Overall, Russian arrivals fell 19.8 per cent in the first seven months with 298,568 arrivals compared with 372,454 in the first seven months of 2014.

But Loizou urged the industry not to become complacent. “It is imperative the cooperation between all stakeholders should continue mainly to curb seasonality and maintain and improve further tourism’s performance which has a direct impact on the economic indices and positively affects the efforts to return to economic growth and economic progress,” he said.

According to a survey published yesterday by John Lewis Foreign Currency, Cyprus and Slovenia offer the best value holidays within the eurozone for Britons, though Turkey was on top, followed by Australia, Mexico and Japan, then Cyprus, as the pound sterling increased in value by 7 per cent over the past six months.

Meanwhile fewer residents of Cyprus travelled abroad in July, according to the statistical service.

On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey, 115,105 residents of Cyprus returned from a trip abroad in July compared to 129,602 in the corresponding month last year, recording a decrease of 11.2 per cent.

Furthermore, in July there was a decrease of 4.8 per cent in trips to Greece and a 47.7 per cent decrease in trips by Cyprus residents to the UK.

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