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Cyprus tourism revenue plunges 73.5% in March

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Cyprus saw its income from tourism nosedive by 73.5% in March as it enforced a commercial flight ban and tightened COVID-19 lockdown, according to official data released Wednesday.

As of March 15, entry was only allowed for Cyprus residents while tourists were banned, as part of the measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A ban on commercial flights has also been activated since March 21 and expected to remain until the airports open in mid-June.

Revenue from tourism reached €25.6 mln in March 2020 compared to €96.6 mln in the same month of 2019.

For the three months, January-March 2020 revenue from tourism is estimated at €115.3 mln compared to €188.6 mln same period of 2019, recording a decrease of 38.9%.

Expenditure per person for March was €461.71 down from €568.19 in the same month of the previous year, recording a decrease of 18.7%.

The expenditure per person/per day for March 2020 recorded an annual decrease of 15.7% (from €68.46 to €57.71).

A decline of 3.6% was also recorded in the average length of stay, from 8.3 days in March 2019 to 8.0 days in March 2020.

Expenditure per person for the first three months reached €467.58 compared to €527.64 in the same period last year, recording a decrease of 11.4%.

Spending per person/per day for the first three months January dipped 4.6% (from €62.81 to €59.95).

As a result of the lockdown measures, the official Passengers Survey was only conducted until mid-March 2020.

Due to the small sample size that was collected during this period, it was not possible to produce a more detailed analysis of the expenditure of tourists by country of residence.

Revenue from tourism generated €2.68 bln in 2019, down 1% from the previous year, bolstered by record arrivals of 3.97 million.

A COVID-19-ravaged 2020 will paint a completely different picture for a sector that contributes around 15% GDP to the Cyprus economy.