Published on : Thursday, February 23, 2017
Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Omaima El-Husseini said that there is an increase in the number of tourists and 2017 is seeing a abetter January than the previous years.
Visitors from China, Japan and Ukraine account for a large part of the growth. China’s top public travel agency, China International Travel Service (CITS), reported a 58 percent increase in tourists flying to Egypt compared with 2015.
Egyptian Federation of Tourism (EFT) chief Karim Mohsen said that there are more bookings between October 2016 and January 2017 than last year, and cultural tourism in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan has seen dramatic improvement.
The uptick is a sign of hope for a country also reeling from the shock of an economic reform program that has triggered massive inflation.
Once a key foreign currency earner, the tourism sector crashed in 2011 after a popular uprising overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak, ushering in years of sporadic unrest. Recoveries in the sector since then have been set back by new crises.
After Russia suspended flights to Egypt, Britain also had cut air links with Sharm El-Sheikh. El-Husseini continued saying that the visitor numbers plunged from 9.3 million in 2015 to 5.3 million the following year.
In December, 551,600 tourists visited Egypt compared with 440,000 the year before, according to the government’s statistics agency. Other European countries such as Germany and France have registered a slight increase in reservations to Egypt.
In early February, four other European countries — Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden — eased travel warnings against travel to south Sinai, where Sharm El-Sheikh and other resorts are situated.