CAIRO: The number of German tourists visiting the Red Sea resort cities of Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Marsa Alam increased between 50-60 percent during the period between January and September 2014, compared to the same period last year, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou announced Saturday.
In an interview with DPA coinciding with the annual Quality Tourism Alliance (QTA), Germany’s biggest tourism fair, currently held in Luxor, Zaazou said, “620,000 German tourists had visited Egypt and spent five million tourist nights during the said period of which 37,000 have visited the Red Sea resort cities during the month of September 2014.”
Hosting the QTA tourism fair forms part of measures taken by the Tourism Ministry to revive ailing cultural tourism and attract major tourism alliances to visit Luxor, Aswan and possibly Cairo, Zaazou said.
“Given that Germany is the second largest market for tourism in Egypt after Russia, the event will have positive impacts on other countries linked with the QTA’s operations, which includes over a thousand German tourism companies with a business value of $6 billion and over 7,000 offices across Germany and other European countries,” Zaazou added.
Europe accounts for 72 percent of annual incoming tourism to Egypt, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.
Increased German tourism cooperation follows a German government decision in July that lifted its previous travel ban to the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Germany, along with 15 other European countries, issued a travel warning to its citizens for the Sinai Peninsula in February following the bombing of a tourist bus in Taba that killed three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, travel advisories issued for the Sinai Peninsula caused tourism revenues to decrease in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.3 billion, down 43 percent from the same period in 2013.