NICOSIA, May 12 (Reuters) – The number of tourists visiting Cyprus — a major source of income for the island — was down 8.6 percent on the year until April, the statistics department said on Tuesday.
Tourism, which accounts for about 10.9 percent of Cypriot gross domestic product, has suffered this year from the global downturn that has hit its key market Britain particularly hard and eroded the value of the pound against the euro, which Cyprus adopted in 2008.
Passenger survey data from January to April showed arrivals falling to 375,523 people compared with 411,054 holidaymakers visiting in the first four months of 2008, an 8.6 percent decrease.
Year on year for April alone, arrivals were down by 0.4 percent.
Tourists from Britain, who usually account for just over half of Cyprus’s annual tourism intake, totalled 84,526 in April compared with 93,862 in the corresponding period of 2008, a 9.9 percent drop.
Tourism arrivals from Russia — Cyprus’s second biggest market — fell 11.8 percent, while Swedish arrivals were down 15.6 percent.
However, there were more visitors from euro zone countries Germany and Greece. The number of German visitors increased by 56.5 percent in April and arrivals from Greece were up 23.7 percent.