Tourist arrivals in Cyprus in 2016 reached 3,18 million, marking a new all time record after 2001, figures released on Tuesday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat) show.

Arrivals reached 3,185,531, marking an increase of 19.8% compared with 2,659,405. The previous record in arrivals was set in 2001 with 2,696,700.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom, Cyprus` biggest tourist market, reached 1.15 million recording an increase of 11.2% compared with 2015. UK arrivals in 2015 amounted to 36.4% of total tourist arrivals. Russia followed with 781,634 arrivals, an increase of 49% year on year. Arrivals from Greece reached 160,254 up by 15% compared with 2015, followed by tourist arrivals from Israel with 148,739 up by 51% year on year. Arrivals from Germany amounted to 124,030, registering an increase of 10.5% year on year.

Tourist arrivals in the summer season, from April – October, marked a new all time high with 2.722.804. arrivals.

The winter months of 2016, from January to March and between November and December saw the arrival of 463,727 tourists marking an increase of 23.2% compared with arrivals in the corresponding periods of 2015. Arrivals in the winter season of 2016 marked the fourth best record marginally behind 2001 and 1997.

In the last month of 2016 tourist arrivals reached 87.927, up by 12.2% compared with 2015.

December was the 18th consecutive month marking annual increase in tourist arrivals.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) described 2016 as “a landmark year which will remain in history as the most successful year compared with any previous seasons.”

For 2017, CTO stresses that although signs are positive it will take a huge effort by all, professionalism, dedication and coordination to achieve similar or better results.

“The euphoria that has been created could easily bring complacency and a return to bad practices,” CTO said in a press release.

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