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September tourist arrivals soar 18%

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Cyprus saw a remarkable 17.9% surge in tourist arrivals during September compared to the same month last year, while for the first nine months there was a 23.4% spike.

According to data released by the Statistical Service, the total number of tourist arrivals for September reached 487,350 from 413,382 recorded in 2022.

The increase in September was part of a broader trend that has seen a 23.4% increase in tourist numbers in the first nine months of 2023.

For the year to September, there were 3,136,145 arrivals from 2,540,554 in the same period last year.

Despite the upward trend, it is still short of the benchmark year 2019, when 524,707 tourists arrived in September and 3,260,546 in the first nine months.

The United Kingdom emerged as the primary source of tourism for Cyprus during September, with a 34% share of the total arrivals (165,869).

Israel followed, contributing 11.7% (57,088), with Poland at 6.7% (32,530), Germany at 5.5% (26,907), and Sweden at 4.6% (22,196).

For most tourists, holidays remained the primary reason for their visit, with 84.1% travelling for leisure, while 10.3% came to visit friends and relatives, and 5.5% had business-related purposes.

Comparatively, in September 2022, 86.1% of tourists arrived in Cyprus for a holiday, 9.1% for family visits, and 4.7% for business purposes.

Returns of residents

Residents of Cyprus returning from trips abroad during September increased by 14.5% annually.

In September, 140,187 residents returned from their travels abroad, compared to 122,450 during the same month last year.

The most popular destinations for returning residents were Greece, accounting for 37.1% (51,983), followed by the UK at 8.2% (11,488), Italy at 4.7% (6,556), and Russia at 4.0% (5,597).

The primary reason for overseas travel was leisure, with 76.1% embarking on a holiday.

Business-related trips constituted 19.7%, while studies comprised 2.5%, and other reasons accounted for 1.7%.