Tourist arrivals in Cyprus increased by 65.6 per cent year-on-year in February 2023, reaching 119,081 visitors, up from 71,921 during the same month of the previous year, according to a report released on Friday by the Cyprus Statistical Service.

Between January and February 2023, tourist arrivals totalled 209,630, compared to 115,865 visitors in the corresponding period of 2022, recording an increase of 80.9 per cent.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom were the main source of tourism for February 2023 with 32,394 visitors, representing 27.2 per cent of total arrivals.

They were followed by Israel with 15,196 arrivals (12.8 per cent), Greece with 15,058 guests (12.6 per cent), Poland with 11,728 arrivals (9.8 per cent), and Germany with 6,107 arrivals (5.1 per cent).

What is more, the Statistical Service also reported that a total of 102,001 Cyprus residents returned from a trip abroad in February 2023 compared to 41,399 in the corresponding month of the previous year, marking an increase of 146.4 per cent.

The top countries from which the residents returned were Greece with 35,351 people (34.7 per cent), the United Kingdom with 11,969 people (11.7 per cent), Bulgaria with 4,408 people (4.3 per cent), and Germany with 4,207 people (4.1 per cent).

In terms of purpose, 66.7 per cent of arrivals said that they came to Cyprus for holidays, 20.1 per cent to visit friends and relatives, while 13 per cent of arrivals were here for business.

Respectively, in February 2022, 64 per cent of arrivals visited Cyprus for holidays, 21.5 per cent visited friends or relatives, and 14.5 per cent visited the island for business reasons.

Regarding Cyprus residents returning to the island, 68.3 per cent went on holiday, 24.5 per cent travelled for business, 5.9 per cent travelled due to their studies, and 1.4 per cent of travellers had left the island for other reasons.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Tourism Costas Koumis this week travelled to Paphos in order to have a meeting with the regional tourism board.

The meeting dealt with issues of tourism promotion and further developing international markets, while operational and infrastructure issues in the Paphos district were also discussed.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism and Etap president Kyriakos Drousiotis also discussed various matters related to promoting Cyprus as a destination abroad.

The discussion touched on the importance of developing the online presence of Cyprus and implementing effective promotion and public relations strategies.

Additionally, they talked about the cooperation policy with travel organisers and airlines, the role and actions of the Deputy Ministry’s offices abroad, as well as the cooperation policy between the ministry and the tourism board. They also discussed financing prospects for Etap.

The meeting also addressed some long-standing requests from the district, such as the licensing of luxury glamping camps and beach management.

They also discussed infrastructure issues, such as the construction of breakwaters, public transport between different areas and the airport, the creation of an artificial reef in the area of Chrysochous Bay, and the operation of archaeological sites.

During the meeting, Kyriakos Drousiotis welcomed the Deputy Minister of Tourism to Paphos and expressed his gratitude that Paphos was the first district to be visited.

He also mentioned that the declaration of Paphos as the European Capital of Smart Tourism is a confirmation of the board’s actions at the European level.

“We put forth these various issues for an exchange of views. As you well know there are longtime issues that concern us,” Drousiotis said.

“Tourism provides momentum to the Cypriot economy and tourism development companies can help the ministry to resolve any problems,” he added.