That was a 12.9 percent jump in revenue compared to the 2010 figure of 1.54 billion. Holidaymakers to Cyprus hit a high of 2.69 million in 2001 spending a record 2.17 billion euros. Despite a drop in arrivals from mainstay country Britain, the number of tourists coming to Cyprus in June increased. Total arrivals in June reached 329,977 against 300,817 in the same month of 2011. There was a 42.1 percent rise in arrivals from Russia -- 80,145 -- making it the island’s second biggest market behind Britain, while Sweden ousted Germany for third place. Holidaymakers from Sweden spiked 26.2 percent to 19,404 and there was a 22.6 percent increase from Israel to 4,393. But more British tourists stayed away in June, with the 127,747 arrivals representing a 2.1 percent drop on the previous year and there was a 7.4 percent decline in arrivals from Germany at 10,693. Arrivals for the year so far, excluding March for which there are no official figures, increased 2.8 percent to 899,436. A significant 10.1 percent increase was recorded in tourist arrivals last year reaching 2.39 million from 2.17 million during the same period of 2010. Cyprus is negotiating a bailout from the European Union to prop up its banks that need to recapitalise due to a severe haircut on toxic Greek debts. Improved tourism income is one of the few bright spots for Cyprus’s struggling economy which depends on the revenues for nearly 12 percent of GDP.
The economy is expected to shrink 0.5 percent this year but grow by the same margin in 2013. [AFP]