Income from tourism in the first six months was just 17% lower than revenues flowing in back in the record-breaking year of 2019, as Cyprus strives to shake off the pandemic.
According to the Statistical Services’ latest Traveller Survey, tourism revenue reached €835.7 mln in the first half of 2022, recording a decrease of 16.7% from 2019.
Revenues for the same period in coronavirus-struck 2021 were €258.8 mln.
For the six months to June 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, tourism revenues reached €122 mln.
Much to the industry’s surprise, June’s income alone was more than double the same month last year.
Tourist spending in June reached €292.7 mln, more than double (115.5%) compared to June 2021, when revenues were limited to €135.8 mln.
According to CyStat data, arrivals were also up this summer compared to the previous years, as tourists totalled 1,676,039 from 638,292 in 2021 and 320,589 in 2020.
For January – July 2019, arrivals reached a record 2,181,994.
In July this year alone, some 454,657 visitors came for a Cyprus holiday, up 52.9% from 297,308 in July 2021.
Cyprus’ tourism boss, Savvas Perdios, said increased flows of tourists in July helped the economy heal its wounds, while indications for the coming months are encouraging.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism said that arrivals in July were 83% of those recorded in the same month of the record-breaking 2019.
Overall, arrivals in the first seven months of 2022 equal 77% of those recorded in 2019.
Perdios said that the UK, the island’s largest market was the driving force, as 45% of all tourist arrivals were from Britain.
Tourism was also boosted by EU markets, marking an increase of 18% during the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.
Tourism is a key driver of the economy, contributing around 15% of Cyprus’ GDP.
Pre-coronavirus 2019 was a record year for the Cypriot tourism industry, seeing 3.97 million tourists arrive on the island and spending €2.68 bln.