25 January 2014 12:16

Despite November tourism income falling, spending for the first 11 months of 2013 was 6.8% up during the same period the previous year, official data showed yesterday.
Much needed tourism income on the crisis-hit island has already surpassed the annual total of €1.92 billion for 2012.
For the 11-month period January-November, income from tourism is estimated at €2.04b from €1.88b in the same period of 2012.
Cyprus is also close to matching its record year for tourism when €2.17b was spent in 2001.
But November saw a fall in spending compared to 2012, becoming only the fourth month when revenue was down as arrivals also slipped.
Improved tourist spending has reaffirmed hopes that resurgence in the key sector will pull the economy out of recession quicker than expected while limiting the extent of the contraction.
Debt-ridden Cyprus' tourism income decreased 5.8% in November compared to the same month in 2012.
Revenue from tourism reached €59.2 million in November compared to €62.8m in the same month of 2012, official data showed yesterday.
And when compared to November 2010 - a poor year for tourism - revenues are down by a similar 5.2% 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.
The average daily amount spent by tourists in November was €70.20 while the average length of stay was 10.3 days.
This compares to higher average daily spending of €79.90 in November 2012 on average stays of 9.4 days.
Israelis were the biggest spenders in November at an average €127.80 a day, while the Norwegians were the most frugal spending €40.90.
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 surge is largely down to big spending Russians while the British - the island's biggest market - and Germans are going elsewhere.
Russians now make up the second biggest source of tourists for Cyprus, where 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.
For 2013, the economy is expected to shrink by around 5.5% - lower than the 7.7% forecast - with most economists expecting the recession to continue until 2015.
Holidaymakers to Cyprus hit an all-time high of 2.69 million in 2001 spending a record €2.17 billion.


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