**Was it the Easter effect? **
Tourism arrivals fell by 5.7% over the year earlier in April, to 189,648 in April 2012 compared with 199,762 in April 2011.
There was a fall of 12.5% in arrivals from the United Kingdom to 70,864 in April 2012 compared with 80,998 in April 2011 and a 6.7% drop in arrivals from Germany to 16,745 from 17,956 in April 2011.
Arrivals from Greece also fell by 9.8% to 14,129, from 15,668 in the same month of 2011.
By contrast, there was a 30.9% leap in arrivals from Russia, now the second largest market, from 18,987 in April 2011 to 24,856 in April 2012. Arrivals from Russia rose by around 50% in both 2010 and 2011.
There was also an increase of 18.9% in arrivals from Sweden, from 8,805 to 10,472 in 2012.
Western Easter was celebrated earlier this year (April 8th) than in 2011 (April 24th), therefore the timing of Easter might have had an impact on arrivals from the UK.
However, this is difficult to prove, since a political fight over the budget meant that the Statistical Service was unable to collect data for March this year.
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