NICOSIA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tourist arrivals in Cyprus increased in October and in the first 10 months of the year despite fears of a drop as a result of the collapse of Thomas Cook package travel agency in the United Kingdom, Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios said here on Tuesday.
The tourism market is the largest economic sector in Cyprus. It contributed just over 23 percent to the 20-billion-euro gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, and has helped the economy recover from the shock of the 2013 Cypriot economic and banking crisis.
The increase in tourist arrivals has helped the country balance the loss of about 50,000 tourists who were to travel with Thomas Cook and the estimated 45-million-euro damage caused to hoteliers, Perdios told the state radio.
Citing the latest figures released by the Statistical Service of Cyprus (CYSTAT), Perdios said that a spike in tourist arrivals from Russia and Israel pushed up the total number of tourists in October, the last tourism month of the year, from 433,600 to 436,500, an increase of 0.7 percent.
Perdios said that between January and October 2019, total arrivals went up from 3,673,400 to 3,697,050, an increase of 0.6 percent compared to the same period of 2018.
However, CYSTAT said that income from tourism has declined by 1.7 percent, totaling 1.85 billion euros (2 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of the year, compared to 1.88 billion euros in the same period of 2018. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S. dollars)