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Egypt's tourist numbers drop 38pct in November year-on-year following Russian plane crash

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Jan 2016
Tourists relax on the beach at the Bella Vista Hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada on January 9, 2016 (AFP)
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Views: 2488

The number of tourists visiting Egypt fell 38 percent in November to 558,000, from 898,000 compared to the same month last year, the official statistics agency CAPMAS reported on Monday.

The drop followed the Russian plane crash in Sinai in October which Islamic militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, affiliated to ISIS, claimed responsibility for. All 224 people on board were killed.

Egypt is yet to issue its final investigative report about the incident, which Russia has said was the result of a terrorist bomb.

Expecting that the accident would weaken tourism sector further, the World Bank cut Egypt's projected growth rate in the fiscal year 2015/16 by 0.7 percent to 3.8 percent in its recent report on global economic prospects.

Despite a Russian ban on flights to the country, 47 percent of Eastern European tourists coming to Egypt in November were from Russia.

Some 40 percent of visitors to Egypt in November came from Western Europe, followed by Eastern Europe and Arab countries.

The number of nights spent by tourists in November fell 51.6 percent to 5 million nights, down from 10.3 million nights year-on-year.

Egypt's tourism sector had showed signs of recovery in the past year, generating $7.4 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ending in June 2015, up from $5.1 billion the same period the previous year.

But the tourism minister expected the recovery of the ailing sector to slow and generate $6.7 billion in revenues in 2016, down from $7.5 billion in 2015.

Last week, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, an Egyptian militant group that has declared allegiance to ISIS, claimed an attack on a tourist bus outside a hotel near the Giza Pyramids. There were no casualties in the attack, which authorities said was targeted at security forces not tourists.

On Friday, three foreign tourists were stabbed in a hotel restaurant in the resort town of Hurghada on the Red Sea, leaving them with “minor injuries” according to Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou. Officials have denied any link with terrorism. 

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11-01-2016 10:01pm
i doubt the official numbers,but never the less
nobody in egypt can guarantee a safe stay for any tourist,should it be cairo,should it be luxor or should it be the so called "high security areas" of hurghada and sharm the tourists will not easily come back,because simply the tour operators and air lines are bound to "insurrance regulations",which means,if you bring tourists in risky areas of the world,your coverage for any problem through insurrances go through the roof financially how the security situation in real live is,i do know after more than 8 years on the streets of various towns in egypt...anybody seriously claiming,he has anything other than his shirt under control,is a joke and telling lies sorry,if it hurts,but thats the simple truth nothing easier than to load a truck with 1 ton of explosive and easily manover it in front a any town hotel...this would be a blast to remember,and the means are so easy to get in lybia
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11-01-2016 07:23pm
More importantly, how to recover?
Even before the Russian plane crash, Egyptian tourism was on the decline and was bound to hit bottom with or without the plane crash. A more important argument is how to recover? for sure targeting low-culture tourism from Saudi or the GCC is not the answer. The answer lies in addressing the causes of the decline in the first place; namely admitting that the failed security policies, daily news about journalists arrests, hourly news about youth jailing and torture, countless human rights violations, politicized justice ... etc are what drove millions of civilized tourists away; the plane crash was the last straw. It's our choice, and we have a few: (a) accept that Egyptian tourism is dead, (b)convert it to GCC brothels and pedophilia, or (c) address the real issues!
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