Tourism in Cyprus

Tourism in Cyprus

Tourism occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus.[1]

Cyprus Tourism
  • In 2006 it was expected to contribute 10.7% of GDP.
  • in real terms it generated CYP£2,598.2 mn (US$5,445.0 mn) (annual-2006).
  • total employment was estimated at 113,000 jobs (29.7% of total employment = 1 in every 3.4 jobs).

With over 2 million tourist arrivals per year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. However, per capita of local population it ranks 6th.[2]

Cyprus became a full member of the UNWTO when the organisation was created in 1975.[3]

According to the World Economic Forum's 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Cyprus' tourism industry ranks 24th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness. In terms of Tourism Infrastructure, in relation to the tourism industry) Cyprus ranks 1st in the world.[4]


Tourist arrivals

Tourist coach in Nicosia

Total arrivals

Figures of total arrivals:[5]

1973 1974 1980 1990 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
264,066 47,085[6] 353,375 [7] 1,561,479 [7] 2,303,200 2,349,000 2,470,100 2,400,924[8] 2,416,081[7] 2,403,750[7] 2,141,193[7] 2,172,998[7]

Arrivals by country

Northern Europe represents the lion's share of tourist arrivals. Over 50% of visitors come from Great Britain a traditional source of tourism for the island. Several factors contribute to this, including widely spoken English, the traditional links from British colonialism and the presence of British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The downturn in the British economy in the late 2000s was reflected in a drop in tourist arrivals highlighting the overreliance of Cyprus' tourist industry on one customer. In 2009 efforts were underway to boost arrivals from other countries.[9]

Tourists arrivals by country (2009):[10]

Seaside city of Limassol
Country arrivals % of total
1 Britain 1,069,190 49.93%
2 Russia 148,734 6.95%
3 Greece 131,871 6.16%
4 Germany 131,158 6.13%
5 Sweden 108,247 5.06%


Clean beaches such as this one in Ayia Napa are a major attraction to foreign tourists.

With some of the most popular beaches in Europe [11], much of the tourist industry relies on "sea sun and sand" to attract tourists.[12] This reflects in the seasonal distribution of tourist arrivals with a disproportionate number arriving during the summer months. Whereas most eastern resorts like Protaras and Ayia Napa lie dormant in the winter months the west of the island remains open to tourism with the promotion of Cypriot history culture, art and specialized sports such as golf and tennis has a wider distribution.

The Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO)

The CTO has a status of a semi-governmental organisation charged with overseeing the industry practices and promoting the island as a tourism destination abroad. In 2007 the CTO spent a reported €20 million on promotion.[13]


  1. ^ "Cyprus Travel & Tourism - Climbing to new heights." (PDF). Accenture. World Travel and Tourism Council. 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-02. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Economy Statistics > Tourist arrivals (per capita) (most recent) by country". Nationmaster. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  3. ^ "UNWTO member states". World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index". World Economic Forum. 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Comparative indicators 2009" (.xls). Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus. 2009.$file/MOVEMENTS_OF_TRAVELLERS-8009-EN-010210.xls?OpenElement. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Information on the Tourist Industry". Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "TOURISM - ARRIVALS OF TOURISTS BY COUNTRY OF USUAL RESIDENCE, 2000-2010" (PDF). Statistical Service. Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Finance. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
  8. ^ Leonidou, Leo (2007-03-23). "The Brits have bigger numbers but the Russians have bigger wallets". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  9. ^ "Cyprus taps new markets amid decline in tourist arrivals". Xinhua. March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  10. ^ "Tourist Statistics 2009" (pdf). Etourism Forum ( data from Cystat, Statistical Service). Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  11. ^ "Revealed: Europe's best beach getaways". The Independent (London). 2011-04-05. 
  12. ^ Habegger, Larry (2007-06-10). "World Watch - European Clean Beaches". Chicago Tribune.,0,5446426.story?track=rss. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  13. ^ "Cyprus to spend a mere EUR 20 mln to promote tourism in 2008". Financial Mirror. 2007-08-17. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 

External links

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