Cyprus tourism regains ground despite losses caused by Russia-Ukraine conflict: minister

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NICOSIA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus seems to be on course for a record year for tourism as arrivals are already 8 percent higher than in the same period of the record year 2019 and almost 38 percent higher than last year, Deputy Tourism Minister Costas Koumis said here on Friday.

Koumis told state-run CyBC radio that the increase in arrivals from Poland, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom -- the main tourism markets for Cyprus -- are making up for the loss of hundreds of thousands of tourists from Russia and Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict.

Arrivals from Russia and Ukraine, which accounted for about 22 percent of all foreign visitors, stopped almost completely as a result of European Union sanctions on Russia over the conflict.

Arrivals in 2019, the last full tourist year before the COVID-19 pandemic, reached almost four million.

Koumis said that some of Cyprus's tourist businesses are struggling to stay afloat as they depended fully on the arrival of Russian tourists.

Tourism is the most important sector for the Cypriot economy, which along with the services sector contributes about 21 percent to its gross domestic product of 27.5 billion euros (29.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022. Enditem

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