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Cyprus sees yearly drop in tourist arrivals during January

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Cyprus experienced a yearly drop in tourist arrivals in January 2024, the first time this has happened since March 2021, thus interrupting a long-running positive streak in tourist numbers.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat), there were 87,961 tourist arrivals in January 2024, compared to 90,549 in January 2023, representing a decrease of 2.9 per cent year-on-year.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom, Poland, and Greece remained significant contributors to the tourism sector, comprising 18.6 per cent, 18.2 per cent, and 11.8 per cent of total arrivals, respectively.

In terms of purpose of travel, vacation remained the primary reason for visiting Cyprus, accounting for 60.8 per cent of tourists in January 2024, followed by visiting friends or relatives at 21.2 per cent, and business at 17.2 per cent.

This represents a slight shift from January 2023, where 64.8 per cent visited for holidays, 21.4 per cent to visit friends or relatives, and 13.4 per cent for business reasons.

On the other hand, the number of residents of Cyprus returning from trips abroad totalled 153,499, marking a 12.3 per cent increase from the previous year’s figure of 136,717.

Among the main countries of return, Greece accounted for the largest share at 30.5 per cent (46,837), followed by the United Kingdom at 11.9 per cent (18,334), Poland at 4.3 per cent (6,525), and Russia at 4.1 per cent (6,241).

Regarding the purpose of travel, the majority of residents, accounting for 85.7 per cent, were on holiday trips, while 11.7 per cent travelled for business purposes, 1.6 per cent for studies, and 1 per cent for other reasons.

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