CAIRO: The resumption of Russian tourism to Egypt could help the country ease the hard currency crisis, Head of Tourism Sector in the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Emari Abdel-Azeem told Youm7 Thursday.
“Russian tourism accounted for 30 percent of inbound tourism to Egypt… Its return will support foreign currency reserves in Egypt,” Abdel-Azeem said, adding that a Russian tourist spends an average of $70 daily.
The total number of inbound tourists reached 3 million persons annually, providing about $12 billion, he continued.
Russia imposed a flight ban on Egypt following the crash of a Russian plane in Central Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015 that claimed lives of all 224 passengers and crew onboard. Since then, the number of tourists visiting Egypt has witnessed a sharp decline.
Other countries included Germany, Italy, France, and the UK decided to halt flights to and from the Red Sea resort town shortly after the crash.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Russian Counterpart Sergei Lavrov agreed Wednesday to resume the flights.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) struggles to provide hard currency to other banks. Egypt’s net international reserves reached $16. 5 billion at the end of February, 2016, the CBE said in a statement Friday.