Foreigners in Egypt spend $1.8 bln via MasterCard in 2015/16
Ahram Online, , Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
From June 2015 to June 2016, Egyptian expenditures through MasterCard outside Egypt reached $2.5 billion

The total expenditure of foreigners using MasterCard in Egypt reached $1.8 billion in June 2016, a fall from previous years caused by a decline in the nation's tourism, Al-Ahram Daily reported on Tuesday, citing Tamer El-Kashef, the company's regional head.

In 2014/2015, the total expenditure of foreigners in Egypt using MasterCards' credit and debit cards amounted to $2 billion, Tamer El-Kashef said.

Meanwhile in 2015/2016, Egyptian expenditures outside Egypt through MasterCard's credit and debit cards reached $2.5 billion. El-Kashef added that there are currently 24 million debit and credit MasterCards in Egypt.

In the first half of 2016, the number of tourists coming to Egypt dropped by 50 compared to the same period last year.

The decline in tourists has been partially attributed to Russia's suspension of passenger flights to Egypt following the October 2015 crash of a Russian airliner in Sinai that killed all 224 people on board.

Beginning in late July 2016, the majority of Egyptian banks tightened limits on Egyptians' use of debit and credit cards abroad amid a hard currency crunch in the country.

However, these limits have been loosened after the country floated the local currency in early November.