Tourism in Cyprus
Situated at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, Cyprus is the third largest island in the region, with an area of 9,251 square kilometers. The island has many attractions one of them being the mild Mediterranean climate that offers abundant sunshine for 320 days of the year. Another plus apart from the natural beauty of the island is that English is widely spoken by most of the citizens, the road network is modern and extensive and you can easily travel to all the outstanding historical and cultural destinations on the island. The currency in Cyprus is Euro and credit cards are widely accepted and ATM’s are readily available in all major towns and villages.
Tourism is the largest source of income on the island which had record arrivals in August 2018 of over half a million visitors. This is phenomenal when you take into consideration that the total population of the Republic of Cyprus is just over 1 million. The Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) has stated that tourism reached a record high for the first 8 months of 2018, and increase of 2.1% from 2017. A total of 2,719,622 tourists visited the island in the first 8 months of 2018. Tourist arrivals from Greece increased by 9% and from Sweden 13%, a drop of 0.9% was registered from the United Kingdom with decreased visitors from Russia and Germany. The United Kingdom still remains the main source of tourism for Cyprus and there has been an increase of visitors from Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland and Ireland.
Tourism in Cyprus is a significant part of the economy and contributes a large amount of the GDP and the biggest source of employment for the citizens of Cyprus. Cyprus is said to be the 40th most popular tourist destination in the world but per capita of the local population it ranks 6th. Cyprus is a full member state of the World Tourism Organization since 1975, and has a lot to offer with sun, blue flagged beaches, first class hotels and mountainside agro tourism. While Europe represents the lion’s share of arrivals on the island, the United Kingdom which has traditional links and military bases on the island, attracts thousands of visitors a year. Another huge market is Russia which accounted for more than 22% of total arrivals in 2017.
Why do so many people enjoy visiting Cyprus? Cyprus is blessed with beautiful coastlines, rolling mountains with pine forests and idyllic weather conditions. Whether you are a nature lover or just want to enjoy the beach and warm Mediterranean waters, you will not be disappointed. You will find total relaxation or take part in the thrilling water sports that are on offer. For golf lovers there are beautiful world class golf courses that offer 5 star accommodation and unique coastal courses for the ultimate golf experience. There are also numerous bicycle and hiking trails through coast or mountain sites that are enjoyed by thousands of visitor every year.
Cyprus offers first rate health facilities with reasonable fees for those who wish to have medical procedures on the island. This has led to an increase in Medical tourism over the last few years. Alongside medical procedures there are also the many excellent Spa resorts that tourist choose to visit for 5 star relaxation in awesome surroundings. There are also rural retreats and mountainside agro tourism countryside homes that you can rent if the quiet and cool surroundings are what you are looking for. With all these pleasures to enjoy, you cannot forget the fresh local cuisine which is an important part of the island’s culture. Wherever you go you will find local tavernas that serve authentic Cypriot meals. The meze platters are the perfect way to get a taste of the many dishes that are usually offered in these tavernas. Cyprus also has an abundance of fresh fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the summer months. When all is said and done, Cyprus is the ideal destination for families or couples from all over the world, it has a lot to offer, is a safe destination and is famous for the hospitality shown by its citizens in all walks of life. The first class airports, Larnaca International Airport and Paphos International Airport, are fully prepared to welcome the millions of tourists that arrive on the island annually.