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Egypt sees 46% drop in tourism in January year-on-year

Ahram Online , Thursday 3 Mar 2016
Sharm El-Sheikh
Sharm El-Sheikh, January 2016 (Photo: Hala Safwat)
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The number of tourists visiting Egypt in January dipped 46 percent compared to the same month last year due to the ongoing decline in the number of Russian holidaymakers, state news agency MENA reported on Thursday, citing the official statistics body CAPMAS.

The country was visited during the month by 363,000 tourists, mostly from Western Europe (35.2 percent), followed by the Middle East (28.6 percent) and Eastern Europe (14.8 percent).

The decline in tourism started late last year after a Russian plane was downed over Sinai in a terror attack in October last year, killing all 224 people on board.

Last week, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told a conference in Cairo that "the goal of those who downed the plane was not only to sabotage our tourism, they wanted to harm our relationships with Russia, if they could with Italy, and others,"

In a televised interview earlier this week, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that "after the plane crash, over the past three or four months, [Egypt] lost around $1.2 billion or $1.3 billion in revenues.”

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.

Egypt accrued $6.1 billion in tourism revenue in 2015, down 15 percent from the year before, as the total number of tourists dropped in 2015 by 6 percent to 9.3 million and the total number of nights spent in the country declined by 14 percent. 

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