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CTO says 3% increase in tourism revenue was a success (Updated)

By Stelios Orphanides

Revenue from tourism rose a mere 3 per cent, to €357.7m year-on-year in July as Cyprus managed to attract 8.2 per cent more tourists in that month prepared to spend less, the statistical service said on Friday.

However, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), a government-sponsored agency tasked with promoting and overseeing Cyprus’s tourism product, said that the increase in revenue was a success and pledged to continue its efforts in attracting big spenders.

In January to July, total revenue from tourism rose 3.9 per cent, to over €1bn, against a 12 per cent increase in arrivals, Cystat said in a statement.

Last month, tourists cut their average spending 4.8 per cent, to €699.88, compared with July 2017, Cystat said. The drop was mainly on a 9.2 per cent reduction in money spent by visitors from Russia, to €696.04, Cyprus’s second largest source of incoming tourism.

Visitors from the UK, the largest tourist market for Cyprus, increased their spending by 3.2 per cent to, €781.94, even as the British economy remains in uncertainty over the outcome of divorce negotiations with the EU.

“The increase in tourist revenue and the multidimensional beneficial effects of tourism on the society are reflected in increased revenue of hotels and restaurants,” the CTO said in a statement.

The CTO invoked Cystat’s hospitality industry’s turnover index which rose an annual 11 per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the respective period of 2017 and added that restaurant turnover had risen 9.7 per cent.

“The CTO will continue its efforts in attracting high-spending tourists aiming at a revenue increase together with an increase in arrivals,” the tourism board said.

It added that it is time to tackle domestic challenges negatively affecting the quality of the tourism product such as noise pollution, lack of aesthetics, illegal structures, ugly signs, touts, profiteering, tidiness and order.

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