Tourist Surge Boosts Cyprus’ GDP
The Cyprus economy continues to enjoy a healthy upturn thanks in no small part to a surge in tourist numbers. The tourist industry forms a key driver of the island’s economy.
Released in November, the authoritative World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report for 2014 showed travel and tourism to have contributed a total of €3,404.9mn to the Cypriot economy, equivalent to 21.3% of GDP. But whilst the WTTC report predicted a 5.5% rise in that figure for 2015, November’s report from the Cypriot statistics agency Cystat showed that tourist numbers had in fact risen by 8.2% over the course of the year (as compared with the same 11-month – January to November – period in 2014). Even more encouragingly, the rate of increase appears to be accelerating, with figures for November alone up 33% on those for November 2014.
Those growing tourist numbers are expected to translate into a higher-than-expected increase in Cyprus’ GDP figure. The visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People`s Republic of China Wang Yi on December 20th and 21st was well timed in the extreme.
It is against that backdrop, amidst a welter of similarly positive economic indicators, that Cyprus continues to attract significant numbers of applicants to its Citizenship by Investment programme. Non-EA applicants are attracted not only by what is still one of the lowest fees internationally for equivalent schemes, but also by the growing investment and commercial opportunities provided by the steadily expanding Cypriot economy. In recent months the Cypriot economy has been upgraded eight times by international rating agencies, the bond rate has been slashed to around 3% and the island’s growth rate amongst the highest in Europe. With over €600 million in EU grants having poured in to the economy, and with the prospects of a dual boom provided by offshore energy extraction and political reunification, Cyprus has rarely been able to boast such an inviting economic picture.
The WTTC report is not the only analysis pointing towards continued and sustained growth into the foreseeable future.
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