**But Russian dependence increases**
Cyprus’ overdependence on the UK for tourists has finally started to crack, with the proportion of arrivals from the UK dropping to 38.9% of the total in 2012, from 42.7% in 2011 and a peak of 58.5% in 2003.
UK arrivals in 2012 amounted to 996,046, the first time they have dropped below 1 million since 1997.
While this is bad news for those who depend on this particular market segment, it is good news for the sector as a whole, as it implies that the sector is diversifying and thus reducing the risk of depending on one market.
Yet while the sector reduces dependence one market, it is at risk of over-concentrating on another, namely Russia.
Arrivals from Russia rose by 42.8% in 2012 to reach 477,119. In the past three years Russian arrivals have risen on average by 47.5% per year. At this pace of growth they will outstrip UK arrivals in two years’ time.
Without such strong growth from Russia, overall tourism arrivals might well have declined, since arrivals from the UK fell 6%, arrivals from Germany were down 10.7% and arrivals from Greece were down 4.1%.
Among the big source countries the only other strong markets in 2012 were Sweden, where arrivals rose by 2.7% to 115,280, and Israel, where arrivals increased by 24.2% to 39,617.
Total arrivals in 2012 rose by 3% to 2,464,908 compared with 2,392,228 in the same period of 2011.
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