Spending by tourists between January and May has surpassed the figures for 2019, according to data released by the Statistical Service on Monday and showing that 2023 is set to be a bumper year.

The Passenger Survey found that during the first five months of this year, revenues from tourism came to €728 million. That compares to €543 million for the same period in 2022, and to €652 million for the same period in 2019.

For the month of May 2023 alone, estimated revenues clocked at €311 million – compared to €221 million for May last year. For comparison, in May 2019 tourists spent €277 million.

The Statistical Service also said that per capita spending by tourists came to €740 in May 2023 – up from €701 recorded for May 2022.

British nationals – accounting for 36.6 per cent of tourists during May 2023 – spent €89 a day on average. Israelis spent €136 a day, and Polish tourists spent €79 a day.

A report released by Ernst & Young Cyprus earlier this month forecast a continuation of the recovery of the tourism sector throughout 2023, potentially matching the figures recorded in 2019 – a bumper year for tourist arrivals.

The report attributed the trend mainly to “unleashed pent-up demand following the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions”.

In 2022, Cyprus welcomed 3.2 million tourists, reaching 80 per cent of the levels seen in 2019.

The loss of approximately 800,000 Russian tourists was mitigated by attracting visitors from new markets, particularly Germany and Poland.

Tourism revenue increased to €2.4 billion in 2022, close to the pre-pandemic record of €2.7 billion.

The latest data given by the Statistical Service suggest this year will easily outperform 2022 overall – and possibly even surpass 2019.