Official figures for June tourist arrivals came to confirm the meagre state of tourism on the island this year, which remains heavily affected by the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Cyprus statistical services, June saw just over nine thousand (9,119) tourist arrivals, a devastatingly low figure compared to June last year, during which tourist arrivals surpassed half a million (509,662).
Though the figure encompassed the entire month of June, the Republic of Cyprus had gradually began opening its airports to commercial planes on June 8 as part of the steady lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures that were imposed from March onwards.
The same grim picture applies to the first six months of 2020, as between January and July, during most of which Cyprus had shut down its airports to commercial aircraft in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, a sum of 255,675 tourists arrived on the island, compared to 1.6 million arrivals in the corresponding period last year, a 84.3% drop.
Cyprus saw a freefall of incoming tourists from the German market to the tune of 93.1%, a 93% decrease from the Swiss market, a 91.1% decrease from the Austrian market, and a 75.8% drop from Greece.
Some 42% of arrivals said they travelled to Cyprus for holidays, while 28% said they were visiting friends or family, and 29.4% said they flew into the island for professional purposes.
July appears to be faring better than the previous month, with arrivals so far reaching 55,894, according to data published by the transport minister Yiannis Karousos on social media.
Regarding the month of August, the deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios recently toned down tourism goals by 50%, with expected arrivals now set at around 100,000.
Cypriots also staying in
According to the same batch of Cystat data, Cyprus residents also cut back on flights abroad by 91.5% in June, as just 11,726 chose to travel compared to 137,992 in June last year.
The main countries from which Cyprus residents returned from in June this year were Greece, the UK, Bulgaria, Russia, and Germany.
The number of Cyprus residents returning home from Greece in June took a plunge to the tune of 88.8%, while 87.8% less locals returned from the UK in June this year, 82.3% less returned from Bulgaria, 93.9% less returned from Russia, and 90.2% less returned from Germany.