CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt in January 2016 decreased by 46 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS,) Egypt’s official statistical agency.
In its monthly report for tourism statistics issued Thursday, CAPMAS indicated that 363,500 tourists visited Egypt in January 2016, compared to 677,500 in the same period last year “due to the ongoing decline in the number of Russian tourists.”
According to the report, Western Europe countries topped the list of Egypt’s inbound tourism registering 35.2 percent, followed by Middle East 28.6 percent and East Europe 14.8 percent.
On Oct. 31, a total of 224 people were killed on board of a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after it took off from Sharm al Sheikh Airport. A number of European countries responded by issuing travel bans to the resort town.
In September, a group of Mexican tourists were killed while in a safari trip in Egypt’s Sahara when the air force bombed them, reportedly believing they were militants.
The number of nights spent by tourists in January fell 62.5 percent to 2.6 million nights, down from 6.8 million in the same month last year, said the report.
A total of 9 million tourists are expected to have visited Egypt by the end of 2015, Chairman of Egypt Tourism Authority (ETA) Sami Mahmoud announced Thursday.
“Egypt was expected to receive 17 million tourists in 2015 but the number declined by approximately 47 percent due to terrorist attacks and consequent travel advices issued by several European countries,” said Sami in a Saturday press conference held by the Federation of Arab Engineers in Sharm al Sheikh.
Tourism contributes 11.3 percent of Egypt’s GDP and brings in 14.4 percent of foreign currency revenues every year.
“Egypt’s tourism industry loses 2.2 billion EGP ($275 m) every month due to terrorism,” said Sami.