Cyprus tourism on track to meet targets, minister says, after second-best April

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Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis on Friday said that tourist arrivals for the first four months of 2024 indicate that the island can achieve its goals for the year, despite any challenges.

Despite a muted April, which saw a 2.7 per cent year-on-year decline, tourist arrivals between January and April totalled 748,814, marking an increase of 1.7 per cent, compared to 736,629 in the corresponding period last year.

In addition, the UK remained the key source of tourism, corresponding to 35.3 per cent of all arrivals during the month of April

“The goal we set at the beginning of the year, considering all the facts before us, such as the escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the economic situation in Central and Western Europe, and the aviation sector crisis, was to achieve a performance comparable to that of the previous year,” Koumis explained in a written statement.

“This goal”, he added, “was set despite the adversities faced by the tourism sector and knowing that last year’s performance was exceptionally high, even all the way until mid-October”.

He noted that the arrival statistics for the first four months indicate an increase of 1.7 per cent compared to the previous year, marking the best first-fourth-month period ever recorded for the country’s tourism sector.

“The above data confirms that we are on track to meet our targets despite the challenges,” he stated.

Regarding the statistics for April, which showed a 2.7 per cent decrease compared to the previous year, the Deputy Minister emphasised that April 2024 was the second-best April in the country’s tourism history.

The arrivals recorded during April of 2023 hold the number one spot. In addition, this year’s performance during April was better than April 2019 by 1.3 per cent, during what was a bumper year for Cyprus’ tourism sector.

He stressed that this decrease was anticipated as it was influenced by the fact that Catholic Easter occurred much earlier this year, having taken place on March 31.

Additionally, April was also negatively impacted by the escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly after Israel and Iran started exchanging threats.

“Overall, the results of the first four months are satisfactory, considering all the factors affecting this period,” he said.

Koumis also expressed optimism that the year will be successful for Cyprus’ tourism sector, provided there are no new tensions or external factors impacting the industry.

However, he added that tourism operates in a highly competitive environment, and “being competitive is the responsibility of all stakeholders“.

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