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Annual tourist arrivals spike 153%

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Cyprus tourist arrivals surged 153.7% in the first nine months of this year but are still down by 60% to record pre-COVID 2019 levels, official data shows.

According to CyStat, arrivals reached 339,242 in September alone, a 288.4% rise from the same month last year (during which 87,334 arrivals were recorded), but a 35.3% decrease in September 2019 (524,707).

In the nine months to September, arrivals of tourists totalled 1,299,392 compared to 512,184 in the same period of 2020, recording an increase of 153.7% and a 60.1% decrease compared to 2019 (3,260,546 arrivals).

Arrivals from the United Kingdom were the main source of tourism in September 2021, with a share of 28.8% (97,741), followed by Russia 26.2% (88,983), Poland 6.1% (20,625), Ukraine 4.4% (14,767), Greece 4.1% (13,944) and Germany 3.7% (12,608).

A mixture of national lockdowns, quarantine and travel restrictions has decimated the island’s tourism industry which generated €2.68 bln in 2019 on record 3.97 million tourist arrivals.

Tourist revenues and arrivals in 2020 plunged by 85%.

Pre-COVID, over 53% of Cyprus’ four million tourists in 2019 came from the UK (33.5%) and Russia (19.7%).

Cyprus had three successive boom years before the pandemic struck, with British arrivals peaking at 1.4 million.

Cypriots travelling abroad

Some 66,452 Cyprus residents returned from a trip abroad in September, compared to 26,111 in the same month last year, recording a 154.5% jump and 49.8% decrease from 2019.

The main countries from which the residents returned were Greece with 42.6%, the United Kingdom 10%, Russia with 6.2% and Italy 5.1%.

Statistics for September 2021 were obtained from processing data of the electronic platform “Cyprus Flight Pass”.