Cyprus expects a record number of tourists to arrive in 2017

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus expects to hit another record number of tourists this year, with visits to the east Mediterranean island expected to increase 5 percent over last year, a tourism official said Thursday.

That's on top of a record-setting 2016, which saw almost 3.2 million holidaymakers arrive — a 17 percent increase over the previous year, said Angelos Loizou, chairman of the Cyprus Tourism Organization.

He credits a complete overhaul three years ago of how Cyprus markets its tourism as the primary reason for the boost after the island lost potential tourists to nearby markets such as Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. He said working closely with tour operators to gauge and cater to visitor preferences helped bring about the turnaround.

Loizou pointed to the example of the U.K. market which is rebounding after dropping four years ago to nearly half of the 2001 high of 1.5 million arrivals.

"We always want to describe our tourism product as an up-market one, not just sun and surf," Loizou told The Associated Press. He said religious tourism, sports clubs training during the mild winter months and a stream of couples traveling for civil marriages are boosting arrivals.

He said the tourism industry directly and indirectly contributes more than 20 percent of the country's 17.6 billion-euro ($18.5 billion) economy. Loizou projected the industry's contribution to the gross domestic product this year to be as high as 22 percent.

The upshot to that is more people are being put back to work. Loizou said as much 11 percent of the island's total workforce will be employed in the tourism industry this year, up from around 9 percent in 2016.

The CTO chief said tourism was vital to helping steer a near-bankrupt Cyprus out of a 2013 international bailout program. Tourism-related revenues reached 2.36 billion euros ($2.48 billion) last year, a nearly 12 percent increase over 2016. Loizou said each tourist spends around 760 euros ($800) per visit.

Related News

UN food agency warns South Sudan conflict is...

May 30, 2017

The head of the UN's farm agency is warning that conflict in South Sudan could undermine hopes of...

Pistol-packing princess gives Belgian PM an earful

May 30, 2017

US-BELGIUM-PRIMEMINISTER-EAR:Pistol-packing princess gives Belgian PM an earful

Century-old battle in Belgium sums up horrors of...

Jul 29, 2017

The Third Battle of Ypres, fought in Belgium a century ago, was as bad as World War I would get

France to analyze eggs after EU urges checks in 4...

Aug 7, 2017

Experts are analyzing contaminated egg products imported from the Netherlands to two establishments...

EU says Belgium took weeks to notify tainted egg...

Aug 8, 2017

The EU's executive arm says Belgian authorities took around a month to notify it about the...

Belgium says Dutch found tainted eggs back in...

Aug 9, 2017

Belgium's agriculture minister says Dutch authorities knew that eggs in the Netherlands were...

Must Read

Schumacher's son drives old F1 car to mark 25th...

Aug 27, 2017

Marking the 25th anniversary of Michael Schumacher's first Formula One win his teenage son Mick...

"What could help me to die?" Doctors clash over...

Oct 26, 2017

"What could help me to die?" Doctors clash over when and how to approve euthanasia for the mentally...

The Latest: Paris picked as future home of EU...

Nov 20, 2017

Paris has been picked to succeed London as host city of the European Banking Authority once Britain...

EU Parliament votes against banning key kebab...

Dec 13, 2017

The European Parliament narrowly defeated plans to ban an additive which is considered key in...

Cyprus expects a record number of tourists to...

Mar 2, 2017

A Cyprus tourism official says the eastern Mediterranean island expects to hit another record...

The Healthier Web delivers accurate and up-to-date health information through medical content and insights from experts. Feel the ‘ohm’ here in The Healthier Web.

Contact us: sales@thehealthierweb.com