The number of Arab tourists visiting Egypt during the first three weeks of June 2011 reached 124,000; approximately the same as June 2010, Egypt’s tourism minister, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, told Ahram Online in an exclusive interview.
Abdel Nour noted that the June 2011 tourism figures are promising and surely better than expected, as the total number of tourists visiting Egypt declined by less than 30 per cent below 2010 figures.
During May 2011, the number of tourists visiting Egypt was around 37 per cent lower than in May 2010.
Arab tourism to Egypt comes second after European tourism. Around two million Arab tourists visited Egypt in 2010; almost 14 per cent of total tourists in 2010, coming mainly from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.
Tourism revenues reached $12.5 billion, out of which 17 per cent comes from Middle Eastern tourists, who are predominantly Arab.
On the more negative side, Abdel Nour told Ahram Online that the recent events in downtown Cairo would have severe adverse effects on tourism in the coming period, reversing improvements in the sector witnessed during the past couple of months.
Clashes erupted in front of the Ministry of Interior last night, as well as the Balloon Theatre in Agouza, between the families of the martyrs of the January revolution and the police, leaving more than 1000 injured.