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Tourist arrivals keep momentum, trips abroad up in January

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Tourist arrivals got off on a good footing the first month of the year, with the number of visitors marginally lower than the year-ago period, yet double the number of arrivals in January 2022.

The Department of Statistics, Cystat, said that based on the monthly Passengers Survey, tourist arrivals reached 87,961 in January, compared to 90,549 in January 2023, a decrease of 2.9%.

Traditionally the lowest month in tourist arrivals, January was below the 123,630 visitors the previous month, itself 12.3% up from December 2022, with 110,041 tourists.

Continuing the trend from the previous month, arrivals from the United Kingdom remained the main source of tourism for January, with a share of 18.6% (16,321) of all arrivals, followed by Poland with 18.2% (15,978) and Greece with 11.8% (10,384). In December, the U.K. contributed 23.4% (28,973) to total arrivals, followed by Poland with an 11.5% share (14,233), and Greece bringing in 10.3% (12,792).

For about two thirds or 60.8% of arrivals, the purpose of their trip in January was for holidays, 21.2% said they were visiting friends and relatives and 17.2% for business. By comparison, in January 2023, 64.8% of tourists visited Cyprus for holidays, 21.4% visited friends or relatives and 13.4% for business.

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A total number of 153,499 residents of Cyprus returned from a trip abroad in January, compared to 136,717 in the same month last year, an increase of 12.3%.

The main countries where residents of Cyprus visited were Greece with a share of 30.5% (46,837), the U.K. with 11.9% (18,334), Poland with 4.3% (6,525) and Russia with 4.1% (6,241).

The purpose of travel abroad for Cyprus residents in January 2024 was mainly for holidays, at 85.7%, whilst business accounted for 11.7%, studies 1.6% and other reasons 1.0%.