COVID travel restrictions continue to have a big impact with Cyprus tourist arrivals in September plummeting 83.4% from the same month last year.
Arrivals reached 87,334 in September compared to 524,707 in the same month of 2019.
According to the Cyprus Statistical Service, for the nine months January to September, arrivals decreased 84.3% to 512,184 from 3,260,546 in the same period of 2019.
From mid-March to June 9, Cyprus imposed a ban on commercial flights and only residents were allowed entry.
Since June 9, a gradual easing of travel restrictions to Cyprus was implemented, allowing tourists from designated countries, according to their epidemiological risk assessment.
Tourists from the largest market Britain were allowed back from August provided arrivals presented a negative COVID test – but second-biggest market Russia remains out of bounds, as does Israel.
Tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom decreased by 71% in September.
A 35.3% decline was recorded in tourists from Germany, 63.2% dip from Greece, 41.4% decrease from Denmark, 77.8% fall from Poland and -78.8% from Switzerland.
Tourism authorities say the best they can hope for in 2020 is to reach 20% of last year’s record arrivals of 3.97 million tourists.
Many hotels have also remained closed during the pandemic while they focus on next summer.
|Country of usual residence||September||January – September|
|Tourist arrivals||% change 2020/19||Tourist arrivals||% change 2020/19|
|Switzerland (incl. Lichten.)||10.555||10.202||2.163||-78,8||57.628||53.581||15.962||-70,2|
Residents travelling abroad
Residents of Cyprus returning from a trip abroad in September also fell 80.3% to 26,111 from 132,409 last year.
The main countries from which residents returned in September were Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Bulgaria.
Compared to September 2019, residents travelling to Greece decreased by 79.1%, to the United Kingdom it was down by 73%, Germany -66.4%, Russia -90% and to Bulgaria it fell by 88.1%.