Many nations were negatively affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Cyprus was hit the most, losing 22 percent of its tourist revenue from the Ukrainian and Russian markets. However, in an effort to entice visitors from outside, the Cypriot government is working hard to build a more environmentally friendly tourist infrastructure.
While the number of tourist arrivals from Russia and Ukraine has dropped to zero and losses are estimated to have reached €655 million, as Cyprus Deputy Tourism Minister, Saavas Perdios says, Cyprus is looking into opportunities to expand tourism to other regions rather than the beach, such as “Colorful Villages”.
This is a label for those villages that have high sustainability levels, natural beauty and other resources, and some of the most famous villages are Laneia, Vouni and Arsos, all of which have witnessed an increase in the number of arrivals in the recent year. However, this strategy of shifting tourism towards villages can be risque, as Cyprus has a reputation for beautiful beaches and hot weather.
The country is especially visited by tourists from the United Kingdom, which is the largest market source, followed by Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Switzerland in 2022 the industry almost fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reached 90 per cent of its 2019 levels, receiving a total of 3.2 million visitors. This is about 700,000 fewer tourists than in 2019 when 3.9 million tourists visited the country, which was a first-time record.
In general, Cyprus had a successful tourism year in 2022, as the arrivals were 60 per cent higher than in 2021, with the number of arrivals reaching 149,857 – 0.6 per cent more than in the whole of 2021 when 148,973 people visited the country.