Greek Cyprus tourism hits 14-year high

Greek Cyprus tourism hits 14-year high

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cyprus tourism hits 14-year high

AFP photo

Greek Cyprus tourist arrivals hit a 14-year high in 2015 reaching 2.65 million, on the back of a cheaper euro, official data showed on Jan. 18.

The number of tourists arriving on the eastern Mediterranean holiday spot last year spiked 8.9 percent, from 2.44 million arrivals in 2014.

This was down to a surge in British visitors attracted by the cheaper euro.

Greek Cyprus is also seen as a safe destination after terror attacks in neighboring countries.

The arrival figures were the best since a record 2.69 tourists in 2001. More than 78,000 people arrived in December 2015, compared with 57,000 in the same month of 2014.

The rise in 2015 was due mainly to a more than 19 percent spike in arrivals from Britain.   

There was also a 43 percent hike from Israel and 38 percent from Greece, although arrivals from Russia dropped 17 percent.

The Greek Cyprus Tourism Organization attributes the rise in arrivals to the British pound’s strength against the euro, as well as more direct flights and closer cooperation among industry players.

Income from tourism accounts for around 12 percent of Greek Cypriot GDP and has been a key factor contributing to the economy exiting recession in 2015.