Over €1.5 billion spent by tourists in Cyprus until July, and around 8% higher compared to 2019
By Maria Herakleous
The latest figures from the Statistical Service on tourism revenues currently confirm the expectations (which have also been expressed by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, in his recent interview with “K”), that this year may be a new record year for tourism revenue. Almost half a billion euros (€454.6 million) are estimated to have been left by tourists for accommodation, entertainment, dining places, markets and transport during the month of July, giving a positive sign compared to 2019. In particular, it appears that, in all the months of 2023 to July, tourism revenue was higher not only compared to the corresponding months of 2022, but also to 2019. For the entire period from January 2023 to July, tourism revenue is estimated at €1,544.7 million and around 19% higher compared to €1,217.4 million in the corresponding period of 2022 and by 8% (€1,425.2 million) in the corresponding period of 2019. Only in July 2023 the revenues amounted to € 454.6 million compared to €381.7 million in the corresponding month of the previous year, marking an increase of 19.1%. It is noted that in July 2019 tourism revenues were 422 million euros and 7.5% lower than this year's performance. This results in a steady increase in revenue, which is estimated to be recorded in the months to come. It is recalled that in an earlier report by “K” on the subject, the assessment by economic analysts was recorded, that this year the annual revenues of tourism will exceed those of 2019 by around 8% and will approach €3 billion. A significant boost in revenues is expected to give the quarter August, September, October, months with good tourism performance in terms of arrivals. Although there are no official statistics, the good passenger traffic to and from Larnaca and Paphos airports is encouraging and indicative of the tourism picture – over 1.5 million in August and 1.314 million passengers (to and from) in the month of September .
The possible markets
Markets such as Israel, Lebanon, for high daily spending, and Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden, in terms of average spending per capita, play an important role in the rise in revenue. In general, the length of stay of tourists amounts to 9 days, the average expenditure per capita at €867.96 and per day at €96.44, exceeding the target described in the National Tourism Strategy (not the updated one). In detail, starting from our most basic markets, €177.3 million came from the British market, due to the large number of tourists from the country and the increase in their spending, which was more than 1,000 euros on average. Tourists from the 2nd strongest market, that of Israel, spent around €43 million during their stay in Cyprus in the month of July although their footprint is significantly reduced due to the short duration of their holiday on the island which on average does not exceed the five days. Around €23 million was the revenue from Sweden, €18.2 million was estimated from the spending of tourists from Poland, and an amount over €17 million came from the German market. The presence of France is noteworthy, with the combination of arrivals and expenses forming revenues of around €9.6 million for July, while the revenues from the Austrian market are at the same levels. Revenues from the Swiss market reached €13.2 million, and around €7 million from the Lebanese market.
The new markets
< p>The increase in tourist spending is considered interest – in addition to inflation and increases in the cost of products and services – due to the new markets added to the tourist palette such as France, but also the increase from existing ones such as Poland and Germany , Switzerland and Sweden. It has also doubled compared to last year in the number of arrivals from markets with smaller shares, while the share of individual tourists has increased compared to those who come with tour operators who pay in advance at more special prices and usually choose all-inclusive packages at hotels. Also comparing the statistics, it is found that in several cases any cuts in tourists' vacations do not directly concern their expenses, but indirectly, by reducing the duration of the vacation.