Egypt sees 1.7 mln tourists in Jan-March, receipts up to $1.6 bln: Source

Dalia Farouq , Tuesday 2 May 2017

Sharm El Sheikh red sea resort

Egypt saw $1.6 billion in tourism revenues from around 1.7 million tourists who visited the country in the first three months of 2017, compared to around 1.2 million tourists in same period last year, a source at the tourism ministry told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

The country's tourism receipts recorded around $1.5 billion in revenue from January to March last year.

Germans topped the list of tourists at 227,000 visitors, a 35 percent rise from the same period last year.

Ukrainians came in second at 226,000 tourists, a whopping increase of 138 percent against the first three months in 2016.

Britons came in third at 74,000 visitors, a 16 percent rise compared to the same period last year.

The rise in British tourists comes despite a ban on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, which was put in place in 2015 after a Russian passenger jet crashed in Sinai after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport.

All 224 people on board the flight were killed in the crash, which was claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

Since the deadly incident, Russia, which was the number one source of tourists to Egypt, suspended flights to the country pending the implementation of tighter security measures at all Egyptian airports.

Egypt's revenues from tourism 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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