NICOSIA, April 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Cyprus hopes to welcome more Russian tourists in 2014 than a year before, Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Georgios Lakkotrypis said, adding that this would help prop up the country’s economy, which was living through an economic recession.
The minister however admitted that at the beginning of the year the Cypriot authorities had feared a possible drop in the number of Russian tourists. But these fears had proved to be wrong, he noted. Hotel booking statistics, in his words, make it possible to expect up to 750,000 Russian vacationers in 2014.
A total of 2.4 million tourists visited Cyprus in 2013. Although the figure was by 2.4% down on the previous year, tourism proceeds, nonetheless, increased by 8.2% Thanks to the tourism sector, economic slowdown rates were not that big as experts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted.
According to Cyprus’ tourism organization, as many as 609,000 Russian tourists visited Cyprus in 2013, which was by 28.3% more than in 2012. This index has been demonstrating stable growth for a number of years now. As of today, Russia ranks second after Great Britain on Cyprus’ travel market. It is not ruled out that by the year 2015, Russia may outstrip Great Britain in terms of the number of tourists visiting Cyprus.