Contrary to what was expected, tourist arrivals rose by 4.8 per cent in April compared to last year, a new record. Arrivals from the UK increased by 5.4 per cent, while it was expected that numbers would drop due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
A passenger survey published on Friday by the statistical service shows that while 314,143 travellers arrived in April 2018, the number for this year was 329,308.
For the period from January to April 2019 tourist arrivals totalled 686,783 compared to 683,581 in the same period in 2018, an increase of 0.5 per cent.
According to the data, arrivals from the UK increased by 5.4 per cent during the same period, while 2.3 per cent more tourists arrived from Russia and 37 per cent more from Israel.
It was reported that arrivals from Greece were at the same level as last year.
A 16.4 per cent decrease was recorded regarding tourist arrivals from Germany and a drop of 4.5 per cent from Sweden.
The UK remains the biggest market, with a proportion of 35.5 per cent, followed by Russia with 15.2 per cent, Israel with 7.1 per cent and Greece (6.2 per cent).
Among all travelers, 78.4 per cent arrived for a holiday, 14.3 per cent visited friends and 7.3 per cent were on the island for business.
The number of Cypriots who travelled abroad this April also increased, by 3.1 per cent. In April 116,970 left the country this year, compared to 113,477 last year.
Just a week ago deputy minister of tourism Savvas Perdios said that tourism figures from the UK dropped at the beginning of the year and an ongoing nervousness about Brexit could impact the summer season and even drag on into 2020.
Head of the hoteliers’ association Pasyxe Haris Loizides also voiced concerns.
“Estimates at this time are that 2019 will be a difficult year. We will be happy if we manage to maintain the same figures as those of 2018 and 2017,” he said.