The economic recession in many European countries, foreign exchange fluctuations and the high accommodation rate which were initially given by the hoteliers compared to 1992 and to other competitive destinations resulted in a tourism flow of 1,841,000 tourists in 1993 as against 1,991,000 in 1992. In 1993 the average expenditure per tourist increased by 8% as compared to 1992 (Cyprus Pounds 379,60 in 1993 and Cyprus Pounds 351,65 in 1992), and receipts from tourism reached Cyprus Pounds 696 million in 1993 compared to Cyprus Pounds 694 million in the previous year.
The growing tourism sector now employs some 35,000 people directly involved in the industry representing 13,2% of the gainfully employed population.
The island's bed capacity has increased from 10,796 in 1973 to 73,657 by the end of December 1993 - no mean achievement, considering the Turkish occupation of 1974 and the occupation of the harbourside town of Kyrenia and the principal resort of Ammochostos (Famagusta) which meant a considerable drop in bed capacity.
What attracts the holiday-maker to Cyprus, in addition to plenty of sun, sand and sea, is the hospitality and friendship of its people, most of whom speak English.
Another attraction is that there is such a variety of things to do for a tourist in Cyprus. Apart from the swimming, wind-surfing and so-on, the holiday-maker can drive up to pine forested mountains along the southern vineyards and indulge in a glance at history by inspecting archaeological excavations which have laid bare ancient settlements, rich burial sites, beautiful mosaics and pottery. Cyprus' history goes back to the 7th Millennium BC.
One particular interesting factor in tourist statistics is that a significant number of holidaymakers who come to Cyprus are "repeat visitors" - the best award a tourist could perhaps give a holiday destination.
One more point: all that the island offers has become during the last ten years, for many holiday-makers in Europe, 100 miles or so closer, with Pafos Airport at the extreme west of Cyprus, direct flights from Europe can now land a few miles from a rapidly developing tourist area in and around Pafos - not to speak of easier access to the Limassol area.
Cyprus tucked away in the top right hand corner of the Mediterranean is so close to Europe, Asia and Africa that it rightly, claims to be a stepping stone to three continents.
An island whose rich dramatic history can be traced back over nine thousand years; an island so coveted over the centuries that it has been invaded and claimed by a fascinating mixture of civilizations from near and far all of which have left their culture and shaped its character.
An island whose archaeology stems from the Neolithic Age, the Ancient Greeks and the Roman period; where churches and monasteries still stand from Byzantine times; castles and palaces from the days of Crusaders and Frankish Lusignans and splendid city walls from Venetian days.
An island chosen by the mythical gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece who indulged themselves here in sport pleasure and tragedy; where Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty, emerged from the Pafos foam to become a famous cult figure - centre of attraction for the first visitors who flocked to the island to worship her.
With such a historic and legendary background it is hardly surprising that Cyprus has developed a character which is quite unique. It is blessed with beauty, natural beauty that ranges from golden beaches and rugged coastlines to rolling hills and forest clad mountains, dotted with picturesque villages.
- Revenue from tourism increases in 2006
An increase of 2.2% was recorded in revenue from tourism in 2006 compared to the previous year, reaching 1,027.3 million Cyprus pounds (1 Cyprus pound is trading at approximately 1.7 euros) compared to 1,005.7 million pounds in 2005. According to data released by the Statistical Service, based on the results of the Passenger Survey, tourist arrivals in 2006 dropped by 2.8% compared to 2005 and reached 2,400,924 compared to 2,470,063 in 2005.
The highest per capita expenditure in 2006 came from Russian tourists with 881.2 pounds (87.1 pounds per day), followed by tourists from Scandinavian countries, such as Sweden with 653 pounds and Norway with 628.2 pounds, and Austria 472.7 pounds. The lowest per capita expenditure came from tourists from Israel with 217.7 pounds and Italy with 226.7 pounds. Furthermore, income from revenue from tourism reached 28.8 million pounds in December 2006 compared to 30.3 million pounds in the corresponding month of the previous year, recording a decrease of 5.2%.
During the same month, arrivals dropped by 6.1% compared to December 2005,
The Cyprus Seasons
The climate of Cyprus never fails to delight her visitors, and every season has a charm and beauty of its own. In summer, sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters beckon swimmers and provide the perfect conditions for sailing, skiing and all watersports under the sun. Yet a complete contrast awaits in the cool, pine covered mountains o Troodos, with delightful hill resorts and traditional hotels.
As the land mellows in autumn there s a wonderful clarity of air on those balmy days, still warmed by the brilliant Cyprus sun. The sea temperature is still high after the long hot summer, and for some this is the best season of all The Cyprus winter is short and mild, with average daytime temperatures around 16ʽ This season brings some much-needed rain to the land, but most of its days are bright and sunny. And there is a short snow season on the mountains from January to March, with fun to be had by all ages from tobogganers to serious skiers. During winter one is able to bask on a sandy beach and within an hour embark on a skiing adventure in the Troodos mountains.
In springtime the island takes on an enchanting beauty. The countryside is set ablaze as glorious wild flowers and fragrant blossoms burst into life to delight the eye with their stunning colours. Bright poppies, yellow daisies and pastel anemonies present their myriad colours in the fields. Meanwhile prickly broom and rockroses decorate the hillsides, peonies start appearing on the mountains, and everywhere the heady scent of orange blossom pervades the air. In fact with 1500 different species of flowers, Cyprus is a paradise for nature lovers. As the days lengthen and the sun gathers strength. Cyprus enters an idyllic season for walks, leisurely picnics and the fascinating contemplation of nature, not forgetting, of course, swimming and sunbathing.
From the gentle warmth of early spring lo the golden sun-drenched days of high summer, there's a Cyprus season to suit all types, just as there is a special part in this Island of contrasts to appeal to all tastes.
Town and Village Life
The towns of Cyprus present a modern cosmopolitan atmosphere blended with historic buildings and ancient monuments. Imposing colonial and classic style buildings rub shoulders with well designed contemporary hotels, apartment blocks and attractive shopping streets, some narrow and quaint, others thoroughly modern.
By contrast, life in the villages follows a slower pace, reflecting the importance of agriculture, cottage industry and family ties. Traditional flatroofed village houses made of mudbrick are a common sight, while stone-built dwellings with tiled roofs can be seen in the mountains. Many village houses feature delightful vine-shaded court-yards and the typical local oven "fourno" for home-made baking.
The people of Cyprus are traditionally warm and wellcoming and consider a visit to their island as a compliment - one thaΥs repaid with qenuine hospitaliy, summed up in the Greek word Philoxenia: Friendship towards the guest. Their naive tongue is Greek, but English is readily spoken in all the shops, restaurants and hotels - in fact just about everywhere. In a world of ever-increasing violence, Cyprus has a remarkably low crime rate, and from just one visit to the Island the visitor can understand why.
The pace is leisurely, the people kind and helpful, always ready with a smile. The Cypriots are hard workers too - resilient people who have withstood and accommodated the succession of invaders throughout their long hlstory.
The gastronomic pleasures of Cyprus should be savoured at an unhurried pace, to discover new flavours and sample the many traditional dishes. And what better way to learn than to follow local custom with a typical mezeΣ - meaning mixture which is usually a little of everything that is available that day in that taverna or restaurant.
As many as thirty dishes may form the meze starting with dips, salads and vegetables, advancing to hot dishes - including such favourites as Moussaka and kebabs as well as tasty local casseroles, fresh fish and chicken - and finishing with sweets like Baklava and loucoumades. Cyprus wines, inexpensive and plentiful, make a good accompaniment to this exotic and lingering repast, and a Cyprus coffee in a tiny cup, ordered according to sweetness desired is a fitting finale with a local brandy.
Besides this typically Cypriot type of meal a visitor offered versatility. There are plenty of charming fish tavernas by the sea and numerous restaurants serving Chinese, Arabic, European and Indian food.
Music and Fun
There are literally thousands of tavernas to choose from all over Cyprus each one offering a friendly welcome and a relaxed atmosphere. At some there is bouzouki music, and the visitor will soon realise how Cypriots enjoy their local songs -it doesn't take long before they join in, always with gusto and appreciation. It is in this ambience that he may bt lucky enough to take part in a "glendi - a spontaneous celebration involving eating, drinking, singing and dancing . Kopiaste!'' someone will beckon to a complete stranger, meaning: come and join in - come and share our food, our drink, our fun.
Wines and Local Drinks
Over 100 varieties of grapes, plumped to perfection, yield the fortified and table wines whlch Cyprus is famous for and which can be traced back over 3.000 years. Sherrics, wines, brandies and liqueurs, which have been enjoyed through the centuries, will compliment any meal all at very reasonable prices.
A cool, refreshing long drink is the local Brandy Sour, a tangy concoction that goes down remarkably well and tends to have addictive qualities; others prefer the clean taste of Ouzo, a local cousin of Pernod or Ricard which turns white and cloudy when mixed with water. And two breweries on the island offer beer thatΥs light and perfectly matched to the Cyprus climate.
Nightlife on the island caters to every mood and every age. There are trendy discos and sophisticated nightclubs. There's ample opportunity to dine and dance romantically under the stars; and there’s plenty of local atmosphere and liveIy fun when the spirited Greek dancing gets going. There's even the chance of seeing a Shakespearean play or a Greek drama performed in an ancient theatre by the light of a Cyprus full moon.
Travel to Cyprus
There are no direct flights between Qatar and Cyprus. Travellers are adviced to fly through Bahrain, Dubai or through other close countries.
Mr. Vassilis Theocharides
Cyprus Tourism Organisation
Middle East & Arabian Gulf Office
Al Ghurair Center, Offices Tower 436B
P.O. Box 94670, Deira, Dubai, UAE
Tel: (++971) 4 2277637
Fax: (++971) 4 2277638
Statistical Issues - Tourism
Cyprus Tourism Organisation
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