“This September was the best September in terms of tourism arrivals in the history of Cyprus’ tourism and the period of January – September 2015, the second best since 2001,” the CTO said in a statement.
The spike in visitors in September was mainly down to strong increase in the number of incoming British tourists, the statistical service said.
The number of visitors from the UK, Cyprus’s largest source of incoming tourism, rose in September an annual 32% to 145,166 more than offsetting a 17% slump to 75,391 in the number of arrivals from Russia, Cyprus’ second largest market, Cystat said.
The overall number of tourist arrivals in January to September was 2,203,599 which was 7.4% higher compared to the respective period of 2014, Cystat said. Overall arrivals from the UK in the first three quarters of 2015 rose 19% to 858,940 while those from Russia dropped 19% to 463,789.
Energy and Tourism Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis hailed the results on Friday saying he was eagerly awaiting statistics to be released on revenue for September to see if there was a parallel increase.
In the first six months of the year, though arrivals were up, revenue was 6.5% lower, the minister said. “July saw particularly high revenues which has improved the overall picture,” said Lakkotrypis, which he added, had resulted in limiting the decrease in revenues in the first seven months to 2.5%.
He said that “if August and September prove equally good months for revenue asJuly, then we are optimistic that we will close the year in positive territory.”
Commenting on the fall in arrivals from Russia and Scandinaviancountries, Lakkotrypis said efforts would continue to see how numbers could be improved from those countries. One concern was finding airlines to fill the gap from Russia for next year since the demise of Transaero airlines. Transaero has pledged to fulfill its commitments to Cyprus until the end of October after which Aeroflot will step in until the end of the year but after that the Russian market for 2016 will be at risk.
According to Lakkotrypis, his ministry, in collaboration with the Transport Ministry and tour operators were actively working in finding other options in regards to airline companies.
“Efforts to cover 2016 with other airline companies continue,” he told reporters.
Source: Cyprus Mail