Tourism spending jumps in Cyprus
The Mediterranean holiday island of Cyprus recorded a 24-percent hike in key tourism revenues in March, its highest monthly percentage rise this year, official data showed Wednesday.
Tourism income in March reached 80.9 million euros ($90 million), compared to 65 million in the same month last year.
For the first three months, revenue from tourism increased 18.7 percent to 147.6 million euros, up from 124.3 million euros in January-March 2015.
Cyprus is benefiting from an upsurge in arrivals, especially largest markets Britain and Russia, and a revival in tourists flying in from Germany, Greece and Israel.
For the first three months, arrivals increased 32.4 percent to reach 251,608.
Lebanese were the biggest spenders in March at an average 136 euros a day, while the Greeks were the most frugal spending 44 euros.
Tourism income on the holiday island last year reached 2.11 billion euros, a 4.4 percent hike from 2014, and the sector's best earnings since 2001.
Cyprus exited a harsh bailout program in March garnering praise from international lenders for its turnaround.
Income from tourism accounts for around 12 percent of the EU states GDP and is credited for ensuring that Nicosia made a relatively quick recovery.
Following a 10-billion-euro rescue package to save a crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013, Cyprus has returned to growth.