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Seaborne passengers fell by 91% in Cypriot ports in 2020

19/11/2021 09:53

The total number of passengers that embarked and disembarked in European Union ports fell almost by half in 2020, compared to 2019, while falling by more than 90% for Cypriot ports during the same period, according to data on maritime transport published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

In 2020, the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in EU ports was 231 million. As the result of strict precautionary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was almost half the amount of 2019 (419 million).

In Cyprus, the total number of passengers for 2020 was 5 thousand persons, compared to 53 thousand in 2019.

Cyprus was among the countries with the largest decrease in seaborne passengers in the EU. The greatest decrease among EU member states was recorded in Slovenia (99.5% reduction) resulting in a mere 199 passengers in 2020. Belgium (93.6% reduction) and Cyprus (91.1% reduction) follow closely.

According to the data, the total number of passengers that embarked and disembarked in EU ports fell regularly between 2008 and 2014, with the exception of 2013 (0.3% increase compared with 2012), and recovered in the last five years to reach a peak in 2019 with 419 million.

In the case of Cyprus, the largest numbers of passengers were recorded between 2011 and 2013 (92, 91 and 99 thousand passengers). The number declined over the next few years, before rising again in 2019.

More specifically, 76 thousand passengers were recorded in 2014, 68 passengers were recorded in 2015, 59 thousand passengers were recorded in 2019 and 72 passengers were recorded in 2017. Maritime passenger traffic fell to 28 thousand passengers in 2018, before rising again to 53 thousand in 2019.

- The largest passenger ports in the EU in 2020

In 2020, the top 20 passenger ports accounted for close to 36% of the total number of passengers embarked and disembarked in the reporting EU countries.

The port of Messina in Italy remained the largest EU passenger port, with 7.7 million passengers. This port was followed by Reggio Di Calabria in Italy (7.5 million passengers) and by two ports in Greece, Paloukia Salaminas and Perama (each recording 5.7 million passengers).

All the top 20 ports recorded substantial declines in 2020. The largest fall was recorded in Calais in France (-61% compared with 2019), losing 7 positions in the ranking for 2020.

The top 20 ports in terms of passenger traffic include ports from Italy, Greece, Finland, Estonia, Malta, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, France and Croatia.

Similarly, Helsinki (Finland), Piraeus (Greece), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsingborg (Sweden) and Helsingør (Elsinore; Denmark) all saw passenger numbers decline by more than a half over this period.

At the other end of the scale, Piombino (Italy) registered the smallest decline (-8.3%), albeit still substantial.