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BY Sophie Griffiths


WTM 2017: Rise for Cyprus visitor numbers

Cyprus celebrated a record year for visitor numbers this year, with a 14.7% rise in arrivals compared with 2016.

Early Christian Basilica, Kourion, Limassol

"Our goal is to reach 6m tourist arrivals by 2030 and we're supporting this with the necessary infrastructure."

From January to August 2017, some 2,517,887 global tourists visited the country, up from 2,196,017 in 2016.

UK arrivals reached 874,055 – an 8.6% rise compared with the 805,087 who holidayed in Cyprus between January and August in 2016.

Its second biggest market, Russia, performed strongly, with visitor numbers rising 4.7% year-on-year in 2017. Meanwhile, Cyprus saw an 85.4% rise in visitor numbers from Israel, now its third market. Germany and Greece ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

The country saw a strong boost during July and August, with a rise of 10.1% and 14.2% in global visitor numbers.

Orestis Rossides, UK director of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, said: “Tourism is an important sector for Cyprus and we’re proud to announce that 2017 is on track to be another record-breaking year. Our longer-term goal is to reach six million global tourist arrivals by 2030 and we are committed to supporting this strong growth with the necessary infrastructure.”

A number of resorts are currently under construction in the country, including Ayia Napa Marina, which will feature hotels, residences and a “super yacht marina” when it opens in 2019, while Columbia Beach Resort in Pissouri Bay has now reopened following refurbishment and renovations.

Elsewhere, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation said tourists were showing a “growing interest” in golf, especially during the winter months, with the Aphrodite Hills Golf Course in Kouklia expected to serve this need when it reopens early next year following an upgrade.

The tourism body added that the country was also a growing destination for both “road cycling on deserted tarmac roads and mountain biking”.

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