File Photo: A general view of (R to L) the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure at the Giza Pyramids necropolis on the southwestern outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo, Egypt. AFP
Tripadvisor’s methodology for “The Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards” focuses on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings from travelers on their platform over the 12-month period between 1 November 2020, and 21 October 2021, the website said.
Key areas such as accommodations, restaurants and popular activities in each city are all taken into consideration.
Cairo is an ancient city and modern metropolis, says Tripadvisor, adding that the Egyptian capital – known as the City of the Thousand Minarets – is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture in addition to being one of the biggest cities in the Middle East.
Tripadvisor lists key landmarks such as the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Al-Azhar Mosque, Khan Al-Khalili bazaar, Sharia Al-Muizz Li-Din Allah street and the Cairo Citadel among some of the top locations to visit in Cairo. It adds that the Egyptian capital is great also for its cultural, archaeological and historical tours, and suggested a private half day trip to Giza Pyramids Sphinx with camel riding.
In a separate ranking for popular destinations, Hurghada came in 10th.
Its stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters that are perfect for windsurfing have made Hurghada, on Egypt's Red Sea Coast, a busy resort town, said Tripadvisor.
“Within easy reach of the stunning Giftun Islands and the Eastern Arabian Desert, Hurghada has seen enormous amounts of development in the past decade—and yes, it does seem overrun with tourists at times. But it is a relatively easy beach escape for Europeans, and some of the world's best diving and snorkelling sites are just offshore,” the website said.
This comes at a time when Egypt’s tourism sector has been struggling to recover amid pressure from the Omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and – most recently – the Ukraine-Russia war, from where Egypt receives a major part of its tourism share.
Egypt’s tourism sector had picked up momentum in the second half of the 2021 thanks the return of Russian tourists to Sinai in August and also the international events held such as the glitzy ceremonies of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade in Cairo in April and the opening of the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor in late November.
The sector had begun to recover following the setbacks caused by the spread of COVID-19 in early 2020.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Egypt received 3.5 million tourists in the first six months of 2021, representing revenues of $3.5 to $4 billion, almost equal to all the revenue gained in 2020.