CAIRO: Over the past three years of turmoil and political unrest, the tourism sector has been one of the worst hit industries in Egypt.
In its statistical monthly bulletin issued Thursday, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistic (CAPMAS) said there was a 21.9 percent decline in tourists visiting Egypt in April. Only 860,000 tourists visited in April compared with 1.1 million tourists in the same period the year before.
In April 2010, before the 2011 January 25 Revolution, the number of tourists who visited Egypt totaled 1.2 million. Eastern European countries were the source of most tourists to Egypt followed by Western European countries and other Middle East countries.
In April 2014, the number of Arab tourists edged down by 31.6 percent, registering at 124,200 thousand tourists, or 14.4 percent of total visitors compared to 181,700 thousand tourists in the same period in 2013.
The average number of nights spent by tourists in April was also down, totaling on average 9.5 nights compared to 10.6 nights a year before
In 2013, tourists declined by 17.9 percent, reaching only 9.5 million tourists compared to 11.5 million tourists in 2012 and 14.7 million tourists in 2010, Reuters reported.
Egypt’s tourism revenues have also declined by 41percent totaling only $5.9 billion in 2013 compared to $10 billion in 2012. In 2010, tourism revenue peaked at $12 billion, even exceeding Suez Canal revenues at the time, Reuters reported.
In response to declines, the Ministry of Tourism is adopting a 5-year plan to attract more than 30 million foreign tourists, achieve a 14 percent growth rate and gain $25 billion in revenues, Tourism Ministry advisor Ibrahim El-Ashmawy told Al-Mal Business daily in May.
The Five-year plan includes increasing tourism investment in the Sinai, reaching new tourism markets like India and Iran and coordinating with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to decrease the cost of tourism prices in order to attract more tourists.