Tourist arrivals in Cyprus were down 0.3 percent to 509,073 in June this year compared to 511,073 in the same month of 2018, the country’s Statistical Service Cystat said on Wednesday.
In the January to June period this year, arrivals dropped 0.9 percent to 1.63 million from 1.64 million in the same period of 2018, according to Cystat.
Tourism hit a historic high in 2018, recording a 7.8 percent increase over the previous year, and was the second biggest sector of the economy after services.
Drop in tourism in the first three months of 2019 was behind a downward projection of growth by the European Commission to 2.9 percent from a previous 3.4 percent. This projection was disputed as too conservative by the chief economist of Hellenic Bank, the main retail bank of Cyprus.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom, the main source of tourism for Cyprus, remained at the same level as last year, recording a marginal increase of 0.1 percent and contributing 32.5 percent of total arrivals.
The survey showed that tourist arrivals from Russia, the second biggest contributor to Cyprus tourism with 23 percent, decreased by 5.1 percent in June 2019 compared with June 2018, whereas the number of tourists from Sweden decreased by 12.5 percent and from Greece down by 20.7 percent.
A devalued rubble was blamed for the decrease in arrivals from Russia.