Tourism arrivals in Cyprus during the first three months of the year reached almost 80% of the same period in 2019, the island’s Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Yiannis Karousos said on Tuesday, expressing confidence that this year’s overall statistics will be further improved.
“Arrivals at Larnaca and Paphos airports are very encouraging. In April 2022, almost 290,000 tourists arrived in Cyprus, compared to only 38,000 in April 2021,” Karousos reported in a speech delivered on his behalf by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Stavros Michael, at a conference organized by the Flight Safety Foundation.
Karousos added that in “the first quarter of 2022, 534,000 tourists traveled to Cyprus, reaching 77.7% of the arrivals that came the same period of 2019.”
He went on to reveal that “provisional statistics for May also show that arrivals will steadily increase, in view of the summer holiday period. We are positive that this year’s statistics will be improved, despite the sad development with the Russian war in Ukraine and the possibility of a new outbreak of the pandemic in the near future.”
The minister also noted that “the Cyprus economy is heavily reliant on air transport, with aviation and tourism contributing more than 20% of Cyprus’ gross domestic product. The restrictions imposed on the fundamental right of freedom of movement in the European Union halted the 2019 dynamic developed in the aviation and tourism sector and forced the Cyprus government to take radical and courageous measures back in 2020 for the closing and reopening of the airports. The aim of those measures, besides protecting public health, was to assist the restarting and recovery of the tourism industry and the economy.”
“Nevertheless, and despite the serious downturn, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, following a very focused and effective management strategy in mitigating against the impacts of the pandemic, managed to rank Cyprus as the sixth state in Europe with the lowest percentage decrease in aviation movement. We achieved this by offering airlines an intuitive incentive scheme that allowed them to include new routes to and from Cyprus and share the risk with the government,” Karousos said in his speech.