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Updated: New record as tourist arrivals rise 7.5% in September

October 17, 2018 at 3:03pm
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Tourist arrivals jumped an annual 7.5% in September to total 520,138 compared to 483,716 in September the previous year, setting a new record for the month, according to the latest Passenger Survey.

For the period of January to September, tourist arrivals totaled 3,239,760 up 7.9% from 3,001,603 in the corresponding period in 2017, which represents a record for the period.

Arrivals from the UK in September were  up an annual 5.3% while arrivals from Israel edged up an annual 1.7%. Tourist arrivals from Germany and Greece also recorded an annual 3% and 4% increase respectively.

In contrast, the number of Russian tourists was down an annual 4.1% while those from Sweden fell 4.9%.

The UK remained Cyprus’ biggest source of tourism in September, accounting for 33.5%  followed by Russia with 22.4%, Israel with 6.2% and Germany with 4.3%.

According to the Passenger Survey, 88.1% of visitors came to Cyprus for holidays, 8.2% to visit friends and family and 3.7% for business.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation said that September’s increase was particularly important as it followed two months – August and July – that offered little margin for growth because of restricted availability and high occupancy rates.

In contrast, in September when there was available capacity, there was a 7.5% increase in arrivals compared to 2.1% rise in August and a 1.6% rise in July.

As regards the nine month period, the CTO noted that numbers were again a record as most markets, with the exception of Russia and Israel, registering an increase.

Indicatively, arrivals from the UK in the period January to September 2018 were up an annual 5.3%, those from Greece up 10% and those from Nordic countries up 12%. Germany saw an increase of 2.1%.

Other markets fared well. Poland recorded an increase of 50.6%, Ukraine 50.5%, Romania 37%, Slovakia 129%, Switzerland 29.3% and Russia 64.1%.

Russia was down 4.9% and Israel 8.1%.

According to the CTO, the 12 month period of October 2017 to September 2018 was the best ever with a total of 3,890,230 tourists.