BUSINESS

Cyprus tourism arrivals climb 10 percent in 2011

NICOSIA (Reuters) -- Tourism arrivals on Cyprus rose 10.1 percent in 2011, official data showed on Tuesday, offering a boon for the island economy ravaged by its banks? exposure to Greece and a blast which destroyed its largest power station.

The sector, which accounts for about one-tenth of economic output, registered 2.39 million arrivals compared with 2.17 million in 2010.

About 1 million of the annual intake were from Britain, the statistics department said.

The island has been repeatedly downgraded by ratings agencies on exposure of its banks to Greek debt and fiscal slippage.

A blast of decaying munitions destroyed Cyprus?s largest power station last July, forcing a third-quarter economic contraction by an estimated 0.7 percent on a quarterly basis.

Authorities expect the impact of the blast could be in part mitigated by tourism arrivals and expect full-year 2011 growth of about 0.5 percent.

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