Cyprus tourist arrivals dipped 76.9% reaching 100,791 in October 2020 from 436,509 in the same month of 2019, due to pandemic travel restrictions, official data showed Tuesday.
For the first 10 months to October 2020, tourist arrivals totalled 612,975 compared to 3,697,055 last year, recording a bigger decrease of 83.4%.
In March, a ban of entry to the Republic was imposed as part of lockdown measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
From June 9, a gradual easing of travel restrictions to Cyprus was implemented, allowing arrivals from specific countries based on their epidemiological risk assessment.
Due to a second wave hitting Europe, there are no EU countries on Cyprus’ safe travel list considered as safe enough not to require a negative COVID test.
Tourist arrivals from the UK, the island’s biggest market, decreased by 59.3% in October from last year while a 25% dip was also recorded in tourists from Germany, 64.8% decline from Greece and 17.1% fall from Denmark.
In October, the majority of the arrivals were from the UK (56,689), followed by Germany (16,257 and then Greece (6,015).
The other main markets for Cyprus – Russia and Israel were not allowed entry due to their poor COVID status.
Last week, Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said a worst-case scenario of only reaching 20% of last year’s record 3.97 million tourist arrivals will not be met in 2020.
Both tourist arrivals and income have plunged 84% compared to 2019 (€2.68 bln) instead of the 80% initially estimated.
Under normal circumstances, revenue from tourism generates around 15% of Cyprus GDP.
Only 17,295 residents of Cyprus returned from a trip abroad in October, plunging 86.2% from the 124,923 that travelled last year.
The main countries from which the residents of Cyprus returned in October were Greece, the UK, Germany and Russia.
Compared to October 2019, the return of residents from Greece decreased 83.3%, the UK by 75.8%, Germany was down 77% and from Russia (not on the travel list) by 91.1%.
Source: Financial Mirror