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Number of tourists visiting Egypt up by 2.9% in July: CAPMAS

The tourism sector made a gradual recovery this year after four years of political instability and two changes of regime

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Sep 2015
Luxor
A tourist walks inside the Luxor Temple in Luxor city April 30, 2014 (Reuters)
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The number of tourists visiting Egypt rose by 2.9 percent in July compared to the same period of the previous year, according to the latest official figures issued Tuesday.

The number of tourists arriving in Egypt reached 911,600 in July, up from 885,800 in July 2014, state statistics body CAPMAS announced in a press statement.

Tourism is one of the main sources of foreign currency for Egypt, which relies heavily on imports of basic foodstuffs such as wheat, bringing in $7.5 billion in revenues in 2014.

The highest number of tourists visiting in July were from Eastern Europe, of which 67 percent were from Russia.

Western Europeans were 34% of visiting tourists, 28 per cent of which were British tourists. Meanwhile, 17 percent came from Middle Eastern countries, said CAPMAS.

The average number of nights spent by departing tourists was 9.5 in July 2015, compared to 8.8 in the same period of the previous year.

The tourism sector, which employs one in seven Egyptians, was dealt a series of blows by political turmoil following Egypt's 2011 revolution that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Foreign currency reserves, which stood at $36 billion before the uprising, fell sharply to $13.4 in 2013 recovering to $18.5 billion last month due to influx of Arab Gulf aid.

The sector has been making a gradual recovery, with Egypt receiving 9.9 million tourists in 2014, up from 9.5 million in 2013. 

Egypt estimated that its revenues from tourism will increase reaching $26 billion by 2020, expecting twenty million tourists visiting by then, according to minister of tourism, Khaled Ramy.

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