The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the Cyprus tourist industry with tourist arrivals in July registering an annual decline of 88.2 per cent, the statistical service said on Wednesday.
According to Cystat, amid the coronavirus outbreak, tourist arrivals in July reached 64,914 compared with 550,971 in the same month last year.
Compared with June 2020 when just 9,119 tourists arrived in Cyprus, July arrivals marked an increase of 611 per cent, reflecting the gradual lifting of restrictions to tourist flows to Cyprus.
For the period January – July 2020, arrivals of tourists totalled 320,589 compared with 2,181,994 for the corresponding period of 2019, a decrease of 85.3 per cent. No tourist arrivals were recorded in April and May.
In March 2020, a ban on entry to the Republic was imposed on until June 8 as part of the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Cyprus.
As of June 9 a gradual easing of the travel restrictions to Cyprus was implemented, allowing the arrivals from specific countries, according to a categorisation by the Ministry of Health, based on their epidemiological risk assessment.
Greece was the biggest tourist market for Cyprus in July with 10,824 arrivals, down by 9.7 per cent year on year, followed by Germany with 9,651 arrivals (down by 28.3 per cent).
However, no arrivals were recorded from the UK in July, which traditionally represents a third of tourist arrivals in Cyprus. Due to travel restrictions no arrivals were recorded from Russia, Cyprus’ second tourist market and Israel. These three countries represented 64.2 per cent of July 2019 tourist arrivals.
The UK is included in Cyprus’ category B’ that requires a negative PCR test, a requirement that prompted major UK tour operators to excluded Cyprus from their flight program.