CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 5.5 percent from 2014 to 2015, recording 677,500 tourists this January compared with 642,200 tourists in the same period in 2014, according to a monthly bulletin issued Wednesday from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt’s official statistical agency.
The biggest number of tourists came from Eastern Europe in January, registering a 39.5 percent increase, while the Western part of Europe registered a 32.9 percent rise. Middle East countries are the third source for the tourist influx, the bulletin added.
The number of Arab tourists went up by 26.4 percent, registering at 128,200 tourists in January, compared to 101,800 tourists in the same period in 2013.
However, a CAPMAS report on the tourist influx in December 2014 said the total number of tourists visiting Egypt recorded 786,100 tourists.
Egypt depends on tourism for around 20 percent of its hard currency. The sector’s total investments are valued at $9.8 billion, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
The CAPMAS report came after the Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a decision to cancel the visa on arrival system for foreign individuals, the decision is scheduled to come into force May 15. The decision has been slammed by many who work in the tourism sector.
Additional Reporting by Rany Mostafa