Cyprus tourism income nosedived 85% in 2020

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Revenue from Cyprus’ key tourism sector plunged more than 85% last year as the travel industry was decimated by the pandemic and lockdowns to contain it.

According to data for 2020, revenue from tourism tumbled 85.4% generating only €392 mln from €2.68 bln in 2019, which saw record arrivals of 3.97 mln.

In December alone, tourist revenue declined to €9.1 mln compared to €54.6 mln in the same month the year before, recording a decrease of 83.3%.

Unsurprisingly, spending went down as tourist arrivals also went into free-fall with an 84% deficit for 2020.

The chaos caused by COVID-19 interventions reversed six consecutive years of tourist arrivals being in positive territory while revenue peaked at €2.71 bln in 2018.

Income from tourism last year declined to its lowest point since 1999 when such data was collected.

A mixture of national lockdowns, quarantine and travel restrictions has decimated the island’s tourism industry which generated €2.68 bln last year on record 3.97 million tourist arrivals.

Tourism was severely affected following lockdown measures taken by Cyprus to contain the spread of COVID-19, including the ban on commercial flights from March to early June.

Spiralling cases in Cyprus also saw its biggest tourism market, the UK impose quarantine on arrivals who travelled to the holiday island.

Under normal circumstances, income generated from tourism contributes around 15% to GDP; the picture is very different for 2020.