Number of visitors to Cyprus remains highest in 10 years!

The number of tourists to Cyprus remains the highest in over a decade for the third consecutive time. 

Number of visitors to Cyprus remains highest in 10 years!
Pic courtesy: Thinkstock Photos.

Nicosia: Tourist arrivals to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus remained the highest in over a decade for the third month running in September, official data showed Friday.

Greek Cypriot authorities recorded 360,899 visitors last month, up 14 percent from the same period last year.

Visitors from Britain -- the island's largest tourism market -- increased by 32 percent, which industry officials say is due to a strong British sterling against the weaker euro.

Arrivals from Israel doubled compared to last year, while German visitors increased by 34.7 percent.

Russian visitors -- the island's second-largest market -- however dropped by 17 percent compared to last year due to a deep recession at home and the plunging value of the ruble.

Tourism, which accounts for around 12 percent of Cypriot GDP, is seen as one of the factors that will pull the island's economy out of recession this year.

Cyprus needed a 10-billion-euro bailout from international lenders in 2013 to save its banking industry and stop the eurozone member from going bankrupt.

But last month official data showed that despite a record number of visitors, shorter stays and tighter wallets, particularly among the traditionally big-spending Russians, were biting into revenues.

The Mediterranean island's tourism income plunged 14.6 percent in June compared to the same time last year.

But arrivals are on the rise.

From January to September visitors increased by 7.4 percent compared to last year, the latest figures showed.

And despite the shrinking Russian market, tourism officials expect an annual increase of around 5 percent.

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