12° Nicosia,
16 June, 2024

Occupied territories witness a 33% surge in visitors

Controversial numbers raise eyebrows as Russian dominance, Iranian influence, and declining Nigerian interest shape the tourism landscape in the occupied areas

Newsroom / CNA

In the first 10 months of this year, the influx of visitors to the occupied territories through land entry points and ports saw a remarkable increase of 33% compared to the corresponding period last year, totaling 1,520,604 individuals.

According to the PIO office, the newspaper Dialogue reports that during the same period last year, the figure stood at 1,141,237.

Out of the 1.5 million visitors this year, 1,229,000 are Turkish citizens, with the remaining hailing from third countries.

Among foreign visitors, Russian citizens led the pack at 44,000, followed by Iranians with 35,764, Germans with 25,683, Britons with 21,221, Kazakhs with 14,416, Ukrainians with 8,309, Pakistanis with 7,768, Nigerians with 4,783, Kyrgyzstanis with 2,952, and Israelis with 438.

Contrary to recent news reports suggesting an influx from Israel, the tourism ministry's statistics refute these claims, the newspaper highlights.

While the number of Russian visitors last year was 26,000, it rose to 44,000 this year. Similarly, Iranian visitors increased from 27,000 to over 35,000.

While there is a modest increase in British and German tourists, there is a notable decline in the number of Nigerian visitors. Last year, 12,267 Nigerians visited the occupied territories in the first 10 months, dropping to 4,783 this year.

Israeli citizens increased from 1,151 to 1,438.

Dialogue also released figures on car traffic in the occupied territories, revealing the circulation of 20,618 additional vehicles in the first 10 months of the year, totaling 385,000. The newspaper attributes this surge to population growth.

"The government of the 'TRNC' gained 365,759,000 TL from new vehicle registrations alone. Thus, the number of vehicles on the roads of northern Cyprus reached 385 thousand," the newspaper notes, emphasizing concerns about inadequate roads, the absence of alternative road projects, and the lack of maintenance and repairs on existing ones. Additionally, issues such as warning signs, protective barriers, and insufficient lighting are cited as major problems.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  tourism  |  travel

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