The number of tourist arrivals in Cyprus rose 15 per cent in November to 124,192 compared with the respective month of 2015, pushing the cumulative number of visitors this year for the very first time ever beyond the 3 million mark, the statistical service said.
In January to November, the total number of tourist arrivals rose an annual 20 per cent to 3,098,604, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Monday.
“For the first time ever, more than 3 million people chose @Cyprus for holidays,” the minister of commerce, industry and commerce, also in charge of the energy and tourism resort, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said in a Tweet. “Regaining market share for #BeautifulCyprus”.
The 15 per cent annual increase last month resulted mainly from a boost from arrivals from secondary markets such as Israel, Greece and Germany which rose 113 per cent, 52 and 52 per cent to 7,204, 14,479 and 12,908, more than offsetting a slight decrease in arrivals from Russia, Cyprus’s second largest market, Cystat said. Arrivals from Russia fell 0.6 per cent to 17,637 while those from the UK, traditionally Cyprus’s largest tourist market rose 3.4 per cent.
Cystat said that 68 per cent of November visitors said that they had come to Cyprus on vacation while 16 per cent and 15 per cent said that they had come for business or to visit friends and relatives.
In a separate statement, the number of Cypriots who travelled abroad last month rose 26 per cent to 93,354, Cystat said.