The 12 month period since July 2017 was the best ever for Cyprus tourism with arrivals reaching 3.842 million, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation said.
It added that July 2018 was the best month in terms of total arrivals ever in the history of Cyprus tourism — these reached 533,626 — up 1.6% over the same month the previous year.
And it said that each calendar month in 2018 marked a record in terms of arrivals compared to the corresponding months of the 2017.
In the first seven months of 2018, total visitor arrivals totaled a record 2.184. million — a significant 9.6% increase over the 1.994 million arrivals in January-July 2017.
The CTO noted key markets showed a drop in July — UK arrivals slipped 1.2%, Russian arrivals were down 5.9%, Israel arrivals fell 22.2% and German arrivals dropped 14.5% — which it attributed in part to the World Cup and record hot temperatures in northern Europe.
However this decline was more than offset by an increase in arrivals from other countries such as from Scandinavia, Switzerland, Poland and Ukraine.
The CTO said its target for 2018 is to sustain the record arrivals of the previous year and if possible achieve a small increase since a number of factors could still lead to lower arrivals such as the continued hot weather in Europe, Turkey’s dynamic comeback on the tourist market and acute competition from new markets.
“As regards the period January -July, most main markets continue to record an increase despite the reductions in July,” the CTO said.
Indicatively, arrivals from the UK in the first seven months of 2018 are up an annual 6.9% and arrivals from Greece rose 11%. Germany has shown an increase of 4.3%, the Nordic countries 17.4% while other countries such as Switzerland (up 32.3%), Poland (up 58.4%), Romania (up 50.9%) and Ukraine (up 42.5%) are showing an increase.
In contrast arrivals from Russia are down 5% and those from Israel down 5.3%.
The CTO said that despite the spectacular increase in arrivals and the setting of new records, efforts must continue to offer a competitive sustainable tourist destination which meets current trends and needs and which with the high quality of service and traditional hospitality will make Cyprus a popular, year round destination.
And in a message to tourism professionals and the public, it said record numbers should not lead to complacency but all should redouble efforts to offer visitors high quality service, with respect for the natural environment and value for money.