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Cyprus eyeing increased Gulf visitors

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) recently reported that the Mediterranean island is readying for a significant influx of GCC visitors during the forthcoming Eid Al Adha break.

As per figures released by the statistical service of the Ministry of Finance’significant growth in arrivals were recorded from the region during first six months of 2017. Visitor arrivals from the GCC increased by 23.3% between January and June 2017, compared to 2016. The visitor increases were largely driven by travellers from the UAE, which contributed more than half of all GCC visitors during the six-month period. In June alone, Cyprus saw a 72.8% year-on-year increase in visitor arrivals from the UAE.

Overall visitors to Cyprus for first half of 2017 reached 1,463,206, an increase of 16.6% when compared to 2016. Travellers to Cyprus that reside in the GCC constituted just over one per cent of all visitors between January and June.

CTO’s acting director general, Marinos Menelaou, said: “Cyprus continues to provide a wealth of tourism experiences for visitors, offering a diverse history and culture that attracts increasing numbers of visitors on an annual basis. Our half-year results are encouraging for the year ahead, with arrivals in June tallying as highest ever recorded during the sixth month of the year.”

Selected as the 2017 European Capital of Culture, the south-west coastal city of Pafos hosts a number of events throughout the summer months. Pafos is a 1.5 hour drive from Larnaca International Airport, with direct flights operated with Emirates Airlines from Dubai, Gulf Air from Bahrain and Qatar Airways from Doha.