Record Number of Tourists Poured into Cyprus, Pump Up Recovery

FILE - In this Sunday, May 25, 2014 file photo, a man plays rackets as other tourists enjoy the sea at "Konnos" beach near the famous coastal resort of Ayia Napa in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

Cyprus’ remarkable recovery from a near-collapse of its banks and economy only five years ago has been aided by another big jump in tourist numbers this year, with data showing a 14.7 percent increase, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation reported.

From January to September 2017, Cyprus welcomed 3,001,603 tourists – compared to 2,617,218 during the same period in 2016, said Travel Weekly, which tracks the numbers of foreign visitors to countries.

The number of visitors from the United Kingdom, the country’s former Colonial ruler, soared from 149,586 to 165,728 – an 8.9% increase. Cyprus is a popular retirement spot for British expatriates as well because of its weather, membership in the European Union the UK ironically is leaving, and relative low cost of living.

Orestis Rossides, UK Director of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, said: “We’re delighted to see continued growth in tourism to Cyprus, both from the UK specifically and across all markets.

“Thanks to the continued growth throughout the year, 2017 remains on track to be another record-breaking year.

“With the warmest winters in Europe, Cyprus is a wonderful winter sun destination and we encourage travelers to consider our beautiful island for their upcoming holidays throughout the winter,” he said.