Even though tradition in the Mediterranean island has the whole family sitting around a Christmassy table rich in food and drinks statistics show that more and more Cypriots choose to spend the festive season abroad.
More and more couples, close friends and families choose a winter destination to spend the Christmas holidays, something that the Statistical Service’s data for December seems to confirm.
Even though the data has not been officially announced, Phileleftheros has information from the Association of Travel Agents that this season’s overseas trips were up by 5% compared to 2018.
And that it is expected that this year’s festive season will break all records. Since some 122,000 Cyprus residents travelled in December last year, it means that the number this year will be close to 130,000.
These numbers may appear to be low in comparison with the year’s total of 1,445,646 travellers, but the fact is that very few people used to leave Cyprus over the festive season in recent past years.
In fact, there is a 50% increase in Cypriot travels for the month of December since 2015. In 2015, some 81,000 trips were recorded in December, while in 2014 departures were slightly higher reaching 93,600.
In 2011-2013, the number of December travellers stood at 80,000. In 2008, travellers in December were at a low level – 87,000 while in 2005 the number stood at 63,600.
A record year for Cyprus travel was 2018 when 1,445,646 trips took place. In 2017, the number was just as good with 1.4 million trips. Despite airlines collapsing and the increase in air fares that followed, residents of Cyprus do travel abroad.
In fact, comparing the figures of trips from 2008 onward it can be seen that these are increasing, exceeding 1.1 million. The fewest trips were recorded in 2013 (1,115,226), however, with no significant change from 2011 and 2012 – 1,208,899 and 1,194,053 respectively.
By Demetra Landou