Cyprus & World News

CYPRUS: Income from tourism falls for first time since 2016

10 July, 2018

For the first time in 16 months, revenue from Cyprus tourism went into negative territory in April declining 4.3% year-on-year despite record arrivals, official data showed Wednesday.

Tourism income reached €181.4 mln in April compared to €189.6 mln in the same month of 2017, recording an increase of 4.3%.

The last time receipts from tourism bucked an upward trend was in December 2016.

The decrease in spending comes against a backdrop of record tourist arrivals in April of 314,143, up 9.7% on the previous year. But over the first four months tourism spending is still positive.

For the first four months, January – April, revenue from tourism increased 6.9% to €382.5 million from €357.7 mln in the same period of 2017.

Expenditure per person, during their stay for April, was €577.39 from €662.06 last year, recording a decrease of 12.8%.

The expenditure per person/per day for April also declined by 5.3% to €71.28 from €75.23.

There was an 8.3% dip in the average length of stay on the island, from 8.8 days to 8.1 days.

Average expenditure per person for January–April dropped 10.5% to €559.54 compared to €625.32 in the same period of 2017.

Expenditure per person/per day for the first four months also decreased 6.3% from €71.06 to €66.61.

The most frugal visitors in April were the Greeks spending an average of €35.84 a day while the most extravagant were the Lebanese spending a whopping €122.93 per-day.

The eastern Mediterranean island has benefited from its reputation as a regional safe haven as unrest has hit the tourism sectors of its traditional competitors Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey.

But recent stability in those countries is attracting more tourists at competitive prices meaning Cyprus must up its game to keep the numbers coming.

There is a concern about a recent drop in big-spending Russians coming, as Russia is the island’s second largest tourist market after Britain.

The tourism boom has helped Cyprus return to growth following a €10-billion bailout to rescue its crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013.

Income from tourism now accounts for about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product and is credited with underpinning a quick recovery.

A record 3.65 million tourists enjoyed a Cyprus holiday last year, spending an unprecedented €2.6 bln.