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Society

Cyprus 2017 Tourism Smashes Records, Pushes Recovery

November 18, 2017

NICOSIA – Five years after a bank crisis almost brought down the economy, Cyprus has come roaring back on the back of foreign visitors who’ve arrived in record numbers this year, driving up revenues.

With the last two months of the year not in yet, the court hosted some 3.4 million people through the end of October, official figures showed as reported by the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Cyprus is seen as a safe haven country in an otherwise volatile region as tourists have shied away from unrest in rivals such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, benefitting the island that’s been split since an unlawful 1974 invasion that has seen Turkey occupy the northern third.

Arrivals in the first 10 months already comfortably exceeded the record 3.18 million registered in the whole of 2016, including its biggest market and former Colonial ruler, Britain, which still keeps a military base on the island. They were up 8 percent.

Israeli tourists led the way with an 80.8 percent increased, followed by Germany with 60 percent.

Income from tourism accounts for about 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and been credited with spurring the recovery.

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