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Fewer tourists came to Egypt in December to end a dismal tourism year

The Egyptian minister of tourism has described 2013 as one of the worst year's for tourism

Dalia Farouk, Ahram Online, Tuesday 11 Feb 2014
Reuters
Traditional Egyptian "Felucca" boats sail on the Nile river in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan (Photo: Reuters )
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The number of tourists to Egypt dropped to 678,000 in December 2013, a decrease of 30.7 from December 2012, according to the state statistical agency CAPMAS.

The total of 5.1 million nights in December 2013 was also a significant drop of 63.1 percent from 13.9 million December 2012.

The tourists came mainly from Eastern Europe, followed Western Europe and the Middle East. 

Until December, Egypt had about 9.4 million tourists generating around $6 billion for the year, compared with 11.5 million tourists in 2012 worth about $10 billion.

Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in late January that 2013 was one of the worst years in tourism, caused mostly by political unrest and security problems spooking foreigners from visiting.

According to Zaazou, Egypt aims to attract 13 million visitors next year and bring in around $11 billion by the end of 2014.

The tourism industry, once worth more than a tenth of economic output, had been rebounding since the 2011 revolution, but suffered a blow after political upheaval in the 2013 summer, which saw Islamist president Mohamed Morsi ousted after mass protests against his rule and driving many countries to warn their nationals not to visit Egypt.

By the end of December, twenty-seven countries worldwide had eased or lifted travel warnings on Egypt.

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Too much risk
11-02-2014 10:35pm
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9+
Tourist climate is lackluster
Tourists, especially western, won't come if the government arbitrarily accuses them of being "spies","terrorists", or other nonsense. Why go when there is so much risk of being thrown into a rat infested jail cell because of spurious charges? Even other Arabs like Palestinians and Syrians are treated poorly.
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Sam Enslow
13-02-2014 02:11pm
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Add to this the constant insults
All this is true. At the same time, the media is constantly harping on how evil the West is, especially the EU and USA. I have seen tourism advertisements, especially on Nile International, followed by anti-US commentary. That just makes people want to visit Egypt because the people are so friendly. According to the Egyptian media, Egyptians would be happier if Westerners sent money and stayed home. Xenophobia is killing Egypt's tourism industry and opportunities to attract investments in all fields.
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