Officials on both sides have dubbed the performance of the tourism sector for the months of January – May 2017 as the “best results of the last 42 years”.
According to the Cyprus Statistical Service, the number of tourists arriving in the Republic of Cyprus (south of the island) from January to May 2017, rose by 14.7% to reach 400,732, up from 364,943 in the same period of 2016. The department stated that May 2017 was the best May of all time as far as tourist arrivals are concerned.
The department breaks down the figures of tourists according to their country of departure. In May 2017, tourists arriving from Great Britain increased by 19.5%, from Germany by 54,9% and Israel by 92.9%. Meanwhile, the number of tourists arriving from Russia did not change significantly, whereas the tourist flows from Greece dropped by 6.4%.
Hoteliers in the north are particularly happy with their hotels’ occupancy rates. Compared to the first five months of 2016, hotels saw their occupancy rates rise by 21% overall. The rise is mainly due to the increase of tourists coming from Turkey.
According to data provided by the Turkish Cypriot public planning organisation, the number of tourists from Turkey residing at holiday resorts in the north has risen by 23%, reaching 293,000 from 238,000 in the same period last year. The number of tourists from third countries also rose from 76,000 to 119,000.
There was also a 20% increase in the number of overnight stays, up from 653,000 to 783,000. An astounding 98% increase was recorded for overnight stays by tourists of other nationalities, reaching 683,000.
Turkish Cypriot hoteliers are particularly pleased with the May results as hotels in Kyrenia saw their occupancy rates reach an average of 61%, in Famagusta 80% and in Trikomo 58%.