Cypriot Tourist Arrivals Rise 10 Pct In 2011

January 25, 2012

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Tourism arrivals to Cyprus rose 10.1 percent in 2011, official data showed, offering a boon for the island economy ravaged by its banks' exposure to Greece and a blast which destroyed its largest power station.

The sector, which accounts for about a 10th of economic output, registered 2.39 million arrivals compared with 2.17 million arrivals in 2010. About one million of the annual intake were from Britain, the statistics department said.

The island has been repeatedly downgraded by ratings agencies on exposure of its banks to Greek debt and fiscal slippage.

A blast of decaying munitions destroyed Cyprus's largest power station last July, forcing a third-quarter economic contraction by an estimated 0.7 percent on a quarterly basis.

Authorities expect the impact of the blast could be in part mitigated by tourism arrivals and expect full-year 2011 growth of about 0.5 percent.

(Reuters)