Egypt's South Sinai sees 1,200 tourists in 24-hour period

Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Mar 2017

St. Catherine
The holy monastery of St. Catherine at mount Sinai (Photo: courtesy of the official website of the monastery)

Egypt’s governorate of South Sinai received almost 1,200 tourists over the past 24 hours, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday

The tourist hotspots of Dahab and Saint Catherine saw 756 and 446 tourists respectively, including foreign, Egyptian, and Arab visitors, according to MENA.

Last week, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed told Reuters that the number of tourists visiting Egypt this year could come close to levels seen before the 2011 uprising, encouraged by increased airport security and a cheaper Egyptian pound.

In the first two months of 2017, the increase in arrivals was "very, very good," the minister said, adding that receipts were also improving as visitors spent more and stayed longer on average.

Egypt’s tourism revenues slumped by 41.5 percent in 2016/17, generating $1.6 billion, compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, according to the central bank's data.

However, quarter-on-quarter, the tourism sector showed some recovery as the sector’s receipts rose 8.9 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal year versus the quarter before, the bank said.

Tourism sector revenues dropped to $3.4 billion in 2016, a 44.3 percent decline from the previous year, the central bank 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.

The country has been struggling to attract tourists pushed away by the political turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising.

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