Cyprus sets May tourist arrivals record

Cyprus sets May tourist arrivals record

Bailed-out Cyprus has recorded its best ever tourist arrivals figures for the month of May, tourism officials said on Friday.

The state-run Cyprus Tourism Organization said in a statement the 364,943 tourists who arrived on the eastern Mediterranean island in May were the “highest ever recorded” for that month.

In May there was an 18.7 percent hike in arrivals compared with the same month in 2015 when 307,449 arrived, indicating that the economy is on an upward curve, official data showed.

Tourists from Britain – the island's largest holiday market – increased 4.5 percent to 129,765, while from second largest market Russia there was a jump of 51.4 percent to 107,730.

On the downside, tourism from Norway dipped 20.5 percent in May.

For the first five months, arrivals rose 20.5 percent to 842,126 from 698,932 last year.

Tourist arrivals hit a 14-year high in 2015 with 2.65 million, but this year industry officials are expecting an even higher total.

Cyprus is seen as a safe family destination in a turbulent region.

Last year, arrivals rose 8.9 percent from 2.44 million in 2014, the best since the previous record of 2.69 in 2001.

There was also a 4.4 percent hike in tourism revenue in 2015, the best since 2001.

Following a 10-billion-euro international rescue package to save a crumbling economy and insolvent banks in March 2013, Cyprus returned to growth in 2015 after nearly four years of recession.

Tourism income accounts for around 12 percent of the EU states GDP and is credited with ensuring that Nicosia did not suffer double-digit recession post-bailout as initially feared.


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