Six months into the new year and official statistics clearly show that the Mediterranean island’s tourism season is slightly down compared to the corresponding one in 2018.
Specifically, tourist arrivals were down by 0.9% between January and June 2019 with Germans, Poles and Scandinavians being the ones turning their back to Cyprus.
It seems that smaller markets have ‘saved’ the island from the substantial decrease in arrivals from Germany – down by 18% – and from Poland – down by 14%. The decrease in tourist arrivals from Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway was 1.8%, according to the Statistics Service.
The data also shows that between January and June 2019 overall tourist arrivals decreased by 0.9%, reaching a totals of 1,631,023 compared to 1,645,149 in the corresponding period of 2018. In June alone, tourist arrivals were 509,662 compared to 511,073 in June 2018, recording a decrease of 0.3%.
What is remarkable this year is the decline of German tourists by a shocking 18.2%. The number of tourists in the first half of 2019 stood at 69,328 compared to last year’s 84,785. At the same time, tourist arrivals from Russia were also down by 4.4% over the first half of 2019 compared to last year, while those from the United Kingdom remained at more or less the same level as in 2018, recording just a slight increase of 0.4%. However, arrivals from Israel rose by 11.5%.
The first six months of the year also recorded a total of 107,750 tourists from Scandinavian countries compared to 109,752 the year before, marking a decrease of 1.8%. Specifically, Denmark recorded a drop of 5.9%, Sweden 4.9%, and Finland 6.3%. On the other hand, tourism from Norway marked an increase of 13%. But there was a 14% decrease from the Polish market.
The island’s top markets remain the same over the first six months of 2019, since one in two visitors is still British and Russian. The UK is at the top with 34.5%, followed by Russia with 18.6%, Israel with 6.4%, Germany with 4.3% and Sweden with 3.7%.
The island’s dependence on the British market increased slightly from 34.1% last year to 34.5% in 2019. The percentage of Russians last year stood at 19.3%, while the same rate was followed by the Swedes and Germans who recorded rates of 3.8% and 5.2% respectively.
By Demetra Landou