CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2015 stood at 2.15 million, marking a 6.9 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy.
“According the advance bookings for the year 2015, number of tourists expected to visit Egypt will be around 12 million,” Ramy said in a press conference held in Dubai Monday.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 4.4 percent in 2014, registering 9.9 million holidaymakers compared with 9.4 million from the previous year, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics
The tourism revenues last year reached $7.3 billion, Ramy said, adding that “By 2020 Egypt should have enough space to accommodate 34 million tourists.”
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.
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.
“By 2016 Egypt’s tourism is expected to surpass the levels of 2010,” said Ramy.
According to official figures, 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.
Tourism, Egypt’s second most important source of national income after the Suez Canal, provides direct and indirect employment to up to 12.6 percent of the country’s workforce.