articles | 03 July 2023

Cyprus tourism revenue surges in April — British, Israelis lead the way

Cyprus’ tourism revenue reached €217.6 million in April 2023, compared to €185.1 million in the same month of the previous year, marking a 17.6 per cent increase, according to a report by the state’s statistical service, which uses the data gathered by the recurring traveller survey.

For the period January to April 2023, tourism revenue is estimated to have reached €417.6 million, compared to €322 million in the corresponding period of 2022, indicating a 29.7 per cent increase. The per capita expenditure of tourists in April 2023 amounts to €634.89, compared to €639.65 in April 2022, reflecting a slight decrease of 0.7 per cent.

British tourists, Cyprus’ largest tourism market, which accounted for 36.3 per cent of total tourists in April 2023, spent an average of €79.51 per day. In addition, Israeli tourists, the second-largest market for that specific month, comprising 9.9 per cent of the total, spent an average of €120.23 per day. Meanwhile, Polish tourists, the third-largest market for Cyprus with 6.7 per cent, spent €77.67 per day.

It should be noted that according to a recent report by EY Cyprus, the recovery of the island’s tourism sector is expected to continue in 2023, potentially matching the figures recorded in 2019, a bumper year for tourist arrivals. Furthermore, regarding the aforementioned countries, the report, which gauged the sentiment of a large number of tourism sector stakeholders, said that there is further room for growth.

All of the people who took part in the report stated that the United Kingdom will continue to be the dominant tourist market for Cyprus for the foreseeable future. “There is reserved optimism that tourist arrivals from the UK could reach or even
exceed 2019 levels in 2023,” the report said. Additionally, approximately 63 per cent of participants mentioned that Israel is also expected to perform well in 2023, while half of the participants said that Poland poses an important growing market, especially for mid-tier hotels. In terms of the optimism surrounding the Polish market, this is primarily driven by the country’s good connectivity with Cyprus.

Meanwhile, in terms of the industry on a continent-wide level, the European tourism sector is poised for a full rebound this summer after being severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The report explained that tourist arrivals in many places are already surpassing 2019 levels, and other countries are expected to reach that mark this year. The revival of the tourism industry will play a crucial role in boosting economic activity, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of Europe, the report noted.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline in terms of passengers, kilometres flown, and routes served, has reported that its passenger numbers in April were already higher than pre-pandemic levels. With 16 million passengers in April 2023 compared to 13.5 million in April 2019, this indicates a positive trend for the sector’s recovery.

Moreover, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in Europe will have mixed effects on the tourism sector, as squeezed incomes may drive more tourists towards cheaper destinations, diverting them from more expensive countries like Spain and France. However, these traditionally pricier destinations might benefit from an increased number of people choosing to stay within Europe to save money instead of travelling to non-European destinations. Additionally, tourist arrivals from outside of Europe are expected to remain lacklustre, with China’s reopening providing a boost but not expected to surpass 2019 levels. Similarly, arrivals from the US are expected to be tepid due to a slowing economy and stagnant real wages.

The report also stated that Southern European countries, such as Spain, are also projected to experience strong tourism growth, as they are still below 2019 levels and will attract investments in tourism infrastructure as they emerge from the pandemic slump. One potential risk to Europe’s tourism sector is adverse weather conditions, including prolonged heatwaves or flooding resulting from droughts, the report explained. Such events could negatively impact tourism and disrupt the recovery process.

Overall, the EIU predicts a promising summer season for European tourism, with countries recovering and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The sector’s resurgence will contribute significantly to economic revitalisation, especially in regions heavily dependent on tourism.

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