Number of British tourists to Egypt likely to reach 500,000 this winter: UK ambassador

Ahram Online , MENA , Sunday 7 Nov 2021

UK Ambassador in Cairo Gareth Bailey expects the number of British tourists visiting Egypt this winter to reach or surpass 500,000. In an interview aired on ON E channel on Saturday, Bailey said between 3,000 to 5,000 British tourists visit Egypt monthly, taking more than 45 flights per week.

Tourists visit the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor, Egypt, March 10, 2020. - AFP

Bailey added that the number of British tourists visiting Egypt had reached nearly half a million before being interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than ten years ago, almost a million British tourists visited Egypt annually, he said, in an apparent reference to the time that preceded politically turbulent years in Egypt between 2011 and 2013.

The UK is one of the largest tourist markets for Egypt. From 2010 to 2015, It was ranked as between the second and fourth largest source of tourists headed to Egypt.

In October, Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport received its first tourist flight from London following the resumption of direct air travel between the UK and Red Sea resorts after more than a year's suspension due to the pandemic.

Two weeks earlier, the UK announced the removal of Egypt from its "red list" for travelers to the Kingdom from countries deemed a coronavirus risk.

The UK also halted direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in the wake of the downing of a Russian passenger jet in October 2015 over Sinai, which killed all 224 people on board, but lifted the ban late in 2019.

Economic cooperation

During the interview, the UK ambassador said his country and Egypt also closely cooperate economically, pointing out the British investments in Egypt are estimated at £50 billion, with over 2,000 British companies investing in the Egyptian market.

Bailey said he looks forward to fostering investments in Egypt, noting the agricultural sector is the top priority for bilateral cooperation given that Egypt seeks to increase its agricultural exports to Britain.

The ambassador underlined that his country seeks to invest in technology in Egypt, as well as renewable energy sources.

London and Cairo are cooperating in the transport sector, especially on the monorail, the ambassador noted, adding the production line of the monorail's cars is in Derby.

The monorail is being built to connect Cairo with the New Administrative Capital and 6 October City, and will be a symbol of Egypt's future as a great power in renewable energy.

He added that his role as an ambassador is to invite British and European investors to think about the available opportunities in Egypt.

The ambassador hailed the Egyptian government's recent measures to promote investment, saying Egypt has succeeded in improving its business climate.

Egypt’s success is visible to all foreign ambassadors, and they are conveying that image abroad, he added, clarifying the Egyptian market is open for all.

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