The first two months of 2023 exceeded by 11% the corresponding period of 2019 – What is the footprint of the main markets
The average per capita expenditure of British tourists amounts to 492.6 euros and the total amount that came from this market for February is estimated at 15.9 million euros.
By Maria Herakleous
The positive series of performances in tourism continues. Following a 10% increase in tourist arrivals for the 1st quarter of 2023, compared to the first quarter of 2019, the tourism receipts results for February were also encouraging. Specifically, based on the results of the Travelers Survey, tourism revenues in February 2023 amounted to €56.6 million (from a total of 119.08 tourist arrivals), compared to €39.6 million in the corresponding month of the previous year , marking an increase of 42.9%. Compared to the corresponding month of 2019, this year's February is better by about 8%, while the first two months of the year recorded revenue 11% more compared to the corresponding period of 2019, and 50.7% compared to corresponding period of 2022. Of course, it is known that the month of February has chronically low shares in the final annual income of tourism. In 2022 it is estimated that his 2nd month accounted for a 1.6% of the final revenue. However, the fact that this February's performance is better compared to the same period in 2019 bodes well for how the year will continue. More generally, it is estimated that this year will reach the levels of 2019 in terms of arrivals. In the case of revenues, so far the sign is positive. If it continues even with a marginal increase, then it is possible that we will have a new record in tourism revenue. Of course, from the tourist operators what prevails is a restrained optimism, given mainly the weak contribution of February to the tourist revenues. However, in his speech yesterday at the 13th Nicosia Economic Congress, the Governor of the Central Bank, Constantinos Herodotou, stated that the further recovery of tourism revenues is expected to be among the factors that will strengthen the GDP recovery.
If the remaining months continue with even a marginal increase, then it is possible that this year a new record will be set in tourism revenues.
The strong markets
Despite the increase in revenue, the average per capita expenditure of tourists in February 2023 has decreased, amounting to €475.39 compared to €550.10 in February last year, a decrease of 13.6%. Breakdown of per capita and daily tourist spend by country of usual residence is as follows: Tourists from the United Kingdom (the largest tourist market with 27.2% of all tourists in February 2023) spent per day on average term 62.3 euros and their average length of stay is 7.9 days. Their average per capita expenditure amounts to 492.6 euros and the total amount that came from this market for February is estimated at 15.9 million euros. Tourists from Israel spend more money per day with 103.5 euros per day, although the duration of their stay on the island is shorter compared to tourists from other markets. This is attributed to the fact that Israel is a nearby destination for Cyprus, so it is mainly chosen for two and three days. At the same time, however, due to the increased number of tourists from the country, Israel's footprint in the final formation of February revenues amounts to 5.6 million euros.
USA, Germany, Lebanon
Tourists from the United States of America are higher per capita, due to their long stay. Specifically, their average length of stay is 13 days, while their average expenditure per day of vacation is 63.29 euros. Lebanon is next, with tourists from this market leaving 720.29 euros on each visit and with a daily expenditure of 93.54 euros. The Netherlands with €548.59 and €69.44 per day, Germany €536.10 and €75.51 per day. On the other hand, the high per capita expenditure of American tourists has a clearly smaller footprint on the month's income (145.5 thousand euros), due to the small number of tourists from this market. A high daily expenditure is also recorded for tourists from Lebanon, however, calculating the number of tourists from the market, it appears that in total for the month of February the amount attributed to them is 1.2 million euros. In the case of the German market, the amount is estimated around 3.2 million euros and the Polish market, around 4.3 million euros. Around 335.2 thousand correspond to tourists from Italy and 894.5 thousand to tourists from France. Both are new additions to the tourist palette of Cypriot tourism and their performance both in terms of arrivals and per capita spending, are important for how opening up to these markets ultimately paid off for us.
We have already referred to the estimates of the World Tourism Organization, according to which this year it is possible that arrival levels will return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the Middle East. At the same time, an increase in demand for value for money destinations and destinations closer to their country is estimated, as a result of economic developments. It is noted here, the recent statement by the CEO of TUI that Cyprus is among the destinations that have not significantly differentiated prices compared to last year – a statement that is expected to work positively for greater interest and searches of the destination. At an international level, the estimates of the World Organization indicate that tourist arrivals will range between 80-95% of pre-pandemic levels. However, in the case of Cyprus, the data so far are particularly satisfactory. Of course, the issue is that the demand and bookings of foreign tourists for the island remain at high levels until at least October. Already the month we are going through is expected to give a clearer picture of how the mainly summer season will move.