The government’s plan to extend the winter tourist period by providing more aid to hoteliers and airlines may be paying off, as the monthly Passengers Survey of the statistical service Cystat showed that arrivals were up 28.8% at 62,611 in January, compared to 48,607 in January 2016.
Tourist arrivals from the U.K., the island’s biggest market, increased by 19.6% year-on-year in January, while an increase of 157.9% was recorded for tourists from Russia. Increases were also recorded from other important tourist markets, such as Greece (19.1%), Israel (55.3%) and Germany (3.8%).
However, a decrease of 23.5% was recorded in tourist arrivals from Ukraine
The U.K. and Russia constitute the main sources of tourism for Cyprus, accounting for 27.8% and 21.8% of all arrivals, respectively, while arrivals from Greece comprises 13.5% and from Israel 8.4% of total arrivals.
For more than half, or a percentage of 53.0% of tourists, the purpose of their trip in January was holidays, for 24.3% visit to friends and relatives and for 22.5% business. The winter months are popular for sports tourism, especially from northern and eastern European states, and Russia, with the most popular being ‘warm winter’ training for football and cycling.
Of the January arrivals, men comprise 52.0% of tourists and women 48.0%, whilst most of the tourists belonged to the age group of 20-44 years.