Egypt sees 51% year-on-year rise in tourists in Q1 of 2017: Source

Dalia Farouq , Monday 24 Apr 2017

German tourists were top of the list of visitors to Egypt during the first three months of the year

Tourists walk at the walking area of Naama bay in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, (File photo)

The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2017 rose by 51 percent compared to the same period last year, an official source at the tourism ministry told Ahram Online late on Sunday.

Egypt received around one million tourists during the period from January to March last year, according to data from the state's statistics body CAPMAS.

Germany topped the list of visiting tourists, followed by Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, China and the United Kingdom during the three first months of 2017, said the source, who gave no figures and asked to remain anonymous.

There was also a significant rise in the number of Japanese tourists compared with the same January-March period of 2016, according to the ministerial source.

Egypt aims to attract 12 million tourists by the end of 2017 through a plan that includes increasing the international presence of national carrier EgyptAir, tourism minister Yehia Rashed said in an interview with Reuters last year.

Egypt's tourism industry has been suffering since a Russian passenger jet crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board, most of them holidaymakers.

Since the deadly incident, Russia has suspended flights to Egypt, seeking tighter security measures at all Egyptian airports.

Egypt's tourism revenues dropped to $3.4 billion in 2016, a 44.3 percent decline from the previous year, the Central Bank of Egypt said in January. The figure is a far cry from the $11 billion in revenues generated by the sector in 2010, when 14.7 million tourists visited the country.

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