Greek Cyprus tourist arrivals hit record high in July

Greek Cyprus tourist arrivals hit record high in July

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cyprus tourist arrivals hit record high in July

AP photo

The number of tourists arriving in Greek Cyprus spiked 8.5 percent in July to a record high for that month, led by a surge in British visitors attracted by the cheaper euro, official figures showed.

A record 414,527 people arrived in July compared with 381,955 a year earlier, according to figures released on Aug. 20. Arrivals eased 1.5 percent in June.

July’s gain was due mainly to a 22.5 percent spike in arrivals from Britain, the island’s largest market. There was also a 65 percent hike from Israel and one of 55.8 percent from Greece.

The only disappointment was a 17.6 percent drop in arrivals from Russia.

For the January-July period, arrivals climbed 6.5 percent to a record 1.45 million from 1.36 million a year earlier. Officials expect an increase of around 5 percent for the whole year, after a moderate gain of 1.5 percent in 2014 and a dip of 2.4 percent the previous year.

Greek Cyprus Tourism Organization chief Angelos Loizou attributed the record in arrivals to the British pound’s strength against the euro, the addition of more direct flights to Greek Cyprus and closer cooperation among industry players.

Income from tourism accounts for around 12 percent of Greek Cypriot GDP and is one is one of the factors that will contribute to the economy exiting recession in 2015.

Greek Cyprus needed a 10 billion euro bailout from international lenders in 2013 to save its banking industry and stop the eurozone member going bankrupt.