UK tourists to Cyprus have already exceeded last year’s total of more than 1.1 million by 6.4%.

Arrivals from the UK for January to October 7.9% were up on the same period in 2016, new figures from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation show.

October saw a 0.5% increase UK visitors with 134,575 arrivals compared to 133,889 in the same month last year.

Global tourist arrivals to Cyprus reached 3.4 million, up 6.9% on the whole of last year and a jump of almost 15% on the equivalent January to October period to 2.9 million.

CTO UK director Orestis Rossides, who is set to retire after 30 years, said: “We’re delighted to have already surpassed 2016’s arrival figures by the end of October 2017.

“As well as being popular in the summer, Cyprus is a great destination for winter sun and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the globe throughout the rest of the year.”

Tour operator Sunvil also announced a 30% rise in passenger numbers to Cyprus in 2017 compared with 2016, and said it has plans to build on this increase in 2018.

The tailor-made specialist said the island had predominantly attracted couples and older travellers and is a year-round destination.

“Spring flowers are also a great reason to visit”, said Rachel Jelley, Sunvil’s marketing manager. “And spring starts very early in Cyprus – from mid/late February onwards, with the bright yellow mimosa blossom that’s seen everywhere.”

2018 will bethe 48th year Sunvil has promoted Cyprus, the third largest Mediterranean island.