Temporarily bailed-out Cyprus recorded a 4.4% hike in key tourism revenue in 2015, the sector’s best earnings since 2001, official data showed last month. Total tourism income on the Mediterranean holiday island reached 2.11 billion euros last year from 2.02 billion euros in 2014.
The increase was fueled by a decade-high surge of 2.1 million tourist arrivals in 2015 – a jump of 8.9% on the previous year. Revenues for the month of December alone increased 20.4 percent from 43.7 million euros in 2014 to 52.6 million.
Lebanese were the biggest spenders in December at an average 136.74 euros a day, while the Swedes were the most frugal at 31.14 euros.
Income from tourism accounts for around 12 percent of the EU state’s GDP and is credited for ensuring that Nicosia did not suffer a double-digit recession post-bailout as initially feared.
Due to the fear of terrorist attacks in certain countries of the region and in juxtaposition with the refugee crisis, Cyprus is expected to be further benefited within 2016, especially from tourists that initially intented to spend their holidays in Turkey and Egypt instead.