Tourism in Cyprus

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Protaras beach in summer
Petra tou Romiou ("Rock of the Greek"), where according to Hesiod's Theogony the goddess Aphrodite emerged from the sea.

Tourism in Cyprus occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus.[1] Tourism significantly impacts the economies, cultures, and the development of Cyprus. In 2006, it was expected to contribute 10.7% of GDP which in real terms it generated US$5,445.0 mn in the same year. In 2006, the total employment was estimated at 113,000 jobs, however due to the recent Cypriot financial crisis the numbers of jobs in the sector are decreasing.

Avakas Gorge in Akamas

With over 2 million tourist arrivals per year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. However, per capita of local population it ranks 6th.[2] Cyprus became a full member of the UNWTO when the organisation was created in 1975.[3]

Topographic map of Cyprus. Troodos Mountains

According to the World Economic Forum's 2013 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Cyprus' tourism industry ranks 29th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness. In terms of Tourism Infrastructure, in relation to the tourism industry Cyprus ranks 1st in the world.[4]

The sandy beaches are often used as habitats for green turtles

Arrivals by country[edit]

The Rock of the Greek (background), with the Saracen Rock in the foreground

Northern Europe represents the lion's share of tourist arrivals. Over 50% of visitors come from Great Britain a traditional source of tourism for the island. Several factors contribute to this, including widely spoken English, the traditional links from British colonialism and the presence of British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The downturn in the British economy in the late 2000s was reflected in a drop in tourist arrivals highlighting the overreliance of Cyprus' tourist industry on one customer. In 2009 efforts were underway to boost arrivals from other countries.[5]

Ayia Thekla beach

Most visitors arriving to Cyprus on short term basis in 2014 were from the following countries of nationality:[6]

Rank Country Number
1  United Kingdom 871,523
2  Russia 636,766
3  Sweden 106,666
4  Greece 100,955
5  Germany 86,397
6  Israel 68,822
7  Norway 56,746
8   Switzerland 48,947
9  Ukraine 41,093
10  Lebanon 32,687


With some of the most popular[7] and cleanest beaches in Europe,[8] much of the tourist industry relies on "sea sun and sand" to attract tourists.[9] This reflects in the seasonal distribution of tourist arrivals with a disproportionate number arriving during the summer months. Whereas most eastern resorts like Protaras and Ayia Napa lie dormant in the winter months the west of the island remains open to tourism with the promotion of Cypriot history culture, art and specialized sports such as golf and tennis has a wider distribution. Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities respectively. English is widely spoken. French and German are also well spoken within the tourist industry.

The Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO)[edit]

The CTO has a status of a semi-governmental organisation charged with overseeing the industry practices and promoting the island as a tourism destination abroad. In 2007 the CTO spent a reported €20 million on promotion.[10]

Heart Cyprus[edit]

Heart Cyprus is a destination brand of Cyprus. Launched in March 2013, by a team of young social entrepreneurs at the peak of the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis, Heart Cyprus strives for a complete rebranding of the island of Cyprus. In partnership with key public and private organizations, Heart Cyprus brings to front all the best the island has to offer, by promoting Cyprus locally and abroad.[11]

A community within a community, with more than 200K Facebook fans and a total reach of more than one million people per month, Heart Cyprus is the leading online platform promoting Cyprus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cyprus Travel & Tourism - Climbing to new heights." (PDF). Accenture. World Travel and Tourism Council. 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-02. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Economy Statistics - Tourist arrivals (per capita) (most recent) by country". Nationmaster. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  3. ^ "UNWTO member states". World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index". World Economic Forum. 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Cyprus taps new markets amid decline in tourist arrivals". Xinhua. March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Revealed: Europe's best beach getaways". The Independent (London). 2011-04-05. 
  8. ^ "EU bathing water continues to improve, says report". BBC News. 2013-05-21. 
  9. ^ Habegger, Larry (2007-06-10). "World Watch - European Clean Beaches". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  10. ^ "Cyprus to spend a mere EUR 20 mln to promote tourism in 2008". Financial Mirror. 2007-08-17. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  11. ^ heart of the matter by Cyprus Mail/

External links[edit]