Bailed-out Cyprus’ tourism income increased 2.1% in June compared to the same month in 2012 offering some rare good news for the troubled economy.
The rise in tourist spending is a welcome boost for a shell-shocked economy that is relying on tourism to help it exit recession.
Revenue from tourism reached 259.6 million euros in June compared to 254.5 million in the same month last year, recording an increase of 2.1%, official data showed yesterday.
Improved spending was recorded despite a 6.6% dip in tourist arrivals in June.
And when compared to June 2010 – a poor year for tourism – revenues are up by a large 33% margin.
The government is hoping burgeoning tourism income can help it recover from the Eurogroup’s deposits haircut slap in March as part of a €23 billion bail-in/bailout deal with international lenders.
But the authorities project a 5% dip in total arrivals this year and expect a rebound in 2014.
As there are no official figures for January – income for February-June is down 1.1% on the same period in 2012.
For February – June income from tourism is estimated at €671.1 million from €678.3 million in same period of 2012.
The average daily amount spent by tourists in June was €83.30 while the average length of stay was 10.1 days.
This compares to lower average daily spending of €81.50 in June 2012 on average stays of 9.5 days.
Israeli’s were the biggest spenders in June at an average €151.40 a day, while the Danes were the most frugal spending €46.40.
Arrivals in 2012 increased 3% reaching 2.46 million visitors – a seven year high --from 2.39 million for 2011 while tourism income increased 10.2% to €1.92 billion.
This followed on from a 12.9% jump in revenue in 2011 compared to the 2010 figure of 1.54 billion.
Cyprus’ recent tourism dip is down to the British – the island’s biggest market -- and Germans going elsewhere as arrivals have fallen in every month from January to August.
Tourism income is becoming increasing dependent on the continued influx of high spending Russians who are now makeup the second biggest source of tourists for Cyprus
Income from tourism accounts for nearly 12% of Cyprus' GDP.
But the banking crisis and austerity has changed the once robust economic to one of recession and EU bailout economics.
This year the economy is expected to shrink by a minimum 8.7% with most economists expecting the recession to continue until 2016.
Holidaymakers to Cyprus hit an all-time high of 2.69 million in 2001 spending a record €2.17 billion.