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Egypt tourism down a third in first quarter of 2012: MENA

Country saw 2.34 million tourists in the first three months of the year even as Saudi visitor numbers climbed, says state news agency

Ahram Online, Friday 13 Apr 2012
Tourism in Egypt
The number of Saudi tourists increased despite an overall decline in visits to Egypt(Photo: Reuters)
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The number of tourists visiting Egypt in the first quarter of 2012 fell to 2.34 million, a drop of 30 percent on the same period the previous year (3.1 million in 2011), state-run news agency MENA reported on Friday.
 
Despite the overall drop, the number of tourists from Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2012 doubled over the year before to reach 220,000, Hesham Zaazou, assistant tourism minister, was quoted as saying.
 
In the first quarter of 2011, which saw the peak of Egypt's popular unrest, 111,000 Saudi Arabia tourists visited the country.
 
Saudi tourists make up around 50 percent of the total 462,000 Arab tourists who visited Egypt during the first three months of 2012.
 
Egypt's tourism sector, one of the country's main generators of foreign currency, has taken a major hit in the aftermath of the 25 January uprising that ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak.
 
Egypt saw around 10.2 million tourists in 2011, 32 percent less than the year before. Tourism revenue plunged 30 percent to $9 billion, against $12.5 billion in 2010.
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