Tourist arrivals went up by 7.6% last month, lending credence to earlier predictions that industry numbers were on a good path despite a disappointing Russian exit.
According to the latest official figures, last month’s arrivals were the highest ever during the month of May compared to any previous year, reaching 450,495 compared to 418,732 in May 2017.
Comparing the pre-season period January through May between the last two years, over one million tourists landed in Cyprus in 2018, with the exact figure being 1,134,076 or 14.5% higher than last year, when 990,756 came during the first half of 2017.
This breaks previous records as January-May total arrivals were highest in 2018 compared to any previous year.
This breaks previous records as January-May total arrivals were highest in 2018 compared to any previous year
UK arrivals were up by 3.8% in May 2018 while 2.9% more German tourists visited the island last month compared to last year.
For the same month this year, Greece was up by 13.2% and Poland rose by a whopping 90.6%, according to CNA News Agency.
On the other hand, fewer Russian tourists came to the Republic of Cyprus last month, which translates to 7.9% drop compared to May 2017.
Fewer Swedes and Israelis also came to Cyprus last month, registering 0.2% and 3.7% drops respectively.
The UK market was the main source of tourism in Cyprus in May 2018, making up 35.7% of all tourists followed by Russians at 22.1%, Germany 4.8%, Sweden 4.5% and Israel 4.4%.
The vast majority of tourists or 85.7% came for leisure during holidays, while 8.1% said they were visiting friends or relatives according to the official data, which also showed that 6.1% of visitors came to Cyprus on a business trip.
Income from tourism accounts for about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product and is credited with underpinning a quick recovery, following a 2013 financial crisis.
A statement last month by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation had warned that despite losing Russian visitors, the year is expected to be positive by the end of the year.
According to CTO, Russian visits are down due to external factors, such as a drop in the Russian currency value and a big opening in the Turkish market.