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PAPHOS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 2Paphos has hosted 3.9 million tourists in the first three quarters of the year, a 7.1% increase on last year’s figures, of whom half came from the United Kingdom and about a third from Russia, Cyprus Tourism Organisation boss Angelos Loizou said on Saturday.

Addressing the Paphos tourism promotion board annual general meeting, the CTO chief said Paphos hotels showed occupancy rates of 63.7% from January to September, whereas occupancy rates throughout 2015 were at 60.5%.

Paphos’ selection as European Cultural Capital 2017, Loizou said, has prompted closer cooperation between the city’s tourism promotion board and the CTO.

“We are convinced that all tourism bodies, wherever we operate, will continue the effort to safeguard the smooth functioning of the tourism industry in Cyprus, and there will be outstanding cooperation for its implementation under the new Tourism Strategy,” he said.

In his own address, the promotion board’s chairman Andreas Demetriades said that Paphos in 2015 recorded over 1 million arrivals and €800 million in revenues.

In the first nine months of 2016, he added, there had been an increase of 18.8% in arrivals and 13.6% in revenues, and he wished for even better results in 2017.