CAIRO: More tourists visited Egypt in 2014 than in 2013, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in a news conference Monday. 2014 saw a 4.5 percent increase over 2013, according to ministry numbers, registering 10 million tourists compared to 9.55 million in 2013.
Tourism revenue rose in 2014 by 23.6, percent registering 56.2 billion EGP ($7.5 billion,) up from $5.9 billion the year before, Zaazou added.
“The figures indicate a notable recovery in Egypt’s tourism sector after violence and political instability frightened off tourists during the post-revolution years,” said Zaazou.
Revenues from tourism, comprising 11.3 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP,) witnessed a sharp decline in the aftermath of the political instability following Egypt’s 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Tourism is Egypt’s second most important source of national income after the Suez Canal, and provides direct and indirect employment to up to 12.6 percent of the country’s workforce, according to official figures.
The average amount spent per tourist per night rose from $72 to $80.1 during the third and fourth quarters of 2014, said Zaazou, adding that tourists in total spent 96.3 million nights in Egypt during 2014.
The numbers for 2014 remain below Zaazou’s expectations announced in October 2013; he said tourism revenue would reach $11 billion, and 13.5 million tourists would visit the country.
2013 was the worst year for tourism since 2011’s January 25 Revolution. In 2012, 11.5 million tourists visited Egypt, bringing in $10 billion while in 2011, and despite the upheaval of the revolution, 9.8 million tourists visited the country bringing in $8.8 billion, according to the Tourism Ministry.
2010 was the highest in 20 years for Egypt’s tourism industry, as 14.7 million holidaymakers visited the country bringing in $15.5 billion.