Decline of Russian & Ukrainian tourists force Cyprus to shift towards Sustainable Tourism

 Monday, February 6, 2023 

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In a bid to attract tourists from other countries, Cyprus is committed to establishing a more sustainable tourism infrastructure. Cyprus has lost 22 per cent of its tourist arrivals that were from Ukrainian and Russian markets due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


It is to be noted that the number of tourist arrivals from Russia and Ukraine to Cyprus has dropped to zero and the country has incurred €655 million losses in tourism revenue.


Therefore, Cyprus is looking into opportunities to expand tourism to other regions rather than the beach, such as “Colorful Villages”, Cyprus Deputy Tourism Minister.


Villages with high sustainability levels, natural beauty and other resources will be included in ‘Colourful Villages’ program. Some of the most famous villages are Laneia, Vouni and Arsos, all of which have witnessed an increase in the number of arrivals in the recent year. However, this strategy of shifting tourism towards villages can be risque, as Cyprus has a reputation for beautiful beaches and hot weather.


In 2022, Cyprus received a total of 3.2 million visitors which is 90 per cent of the 2019 figures and about 700,000 fewer tourists than in 2019 when 3.9 million tourists visited the country, which was a first-time record. Cyprus also witnessed a change in travel patterns as the average stay increased to ten days, one day more than visitors used to spend in 2019.


The United Kingdom is the largest market source for Cyprus followed by Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.


In general, Cyprus had a successful tourism year in 2022 with the number of arrivals reaching 149,857 which is 60 per cent higher than in 2021 and 0.6 per cent more than in the whole of 2021 when 148,973 people visited the country.


The main countries of origin for tourists in 2022 were the United Kingdom with 38,265 tourists, representing 25.5 per cent of all arrivals, followed by Israel (17,380 tourist arrivals), Greece (15,190), Germany (15,065) and Poland (13,759).

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