Cyprus tourism revenue recorded a drop of 93 percent in January this year compared to the same month of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the Statistical Service of Cyprus (CYSTAT) on Friday.
CYSTAT said in a statement that income from tourism in January this year was just 2.8 million euros, a huge drop from a revenue of 40.2 million euros in January 2020.
Compared with January 2019, when 39.6 million euros was recorded in tourism revenue, the fall was 92.9 percent.
Tourist arrivals in January 2021 were only 3,889, down by a massive 95.5 percent from 85,622 year-on-year, and by 95.3 percent from the figure recorded in January 2019, the last full tourist year before the onset of the pandemic.
Tourism is the predominant economic sector in Cyprus, contributing almost 5 billion euros, or 22.7 percent of the eastern Mediterranean island’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) of about 22 billion euros in 2019.
The tourism sector also provides one quarter of the country’s total employment.
Just under four million tourists visited the island in 2019.
In a bid to keep the sector alive, the government pumped hundreds of millions of euros in support of both hotel and restaurant owners and workers in the tourism sector.
Hotels and other tourist facilities reopened on Thursday as airports resumed full operation, but Deputy Ministry of Tourism Savvas Perdios said he did not expect large numbers of tourist arrivals before the middle of June, because of travel restrictions still in force. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)