A wind surfer in Ras Sedr (Photo: Salma Shukrallah)
Registering the highest revenue since its establishment two decades ago, Egypt's Tourism Development Authority (TDA) has recorded LE571 million in the fiscal year 2013/14 that ended on Monday – exceeding the targeted LE430 million by 32.8 percent.
In a press release on Monday, the Ministry of Tourism attributed the rise to successful investments in seven development projects along the Red Sea and Ain Sokhna city, on an area extending over 5.2 million square metres.
The projects have already made advanced payments of approximately 40 percent of the due amount.
In May, the TDA approved projects on the Red Sea coast worth some LE3 billion ($0.4 billion).
Following 50 bids, the TDA offered five pieces of land to the winning developers to build five touristic projects in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna and Ras Sedr cities at a cost of almost LE500 million ($71 million).
The Ain Sokhna projects were offered for LE1141 ($163) per square metre on a land surface of 120 square kilometres and LE1050 ($150) per square metre for another land surface of 140 square kilometres.
The TDA offered the land of a third project at Ain Sokhna, which is planned to become an international recovery centre, at LE525 ($75) per square metre on an area of 215 square kilometres.
The Ras Sedr projects will be established on an area of 323.8 square kilometres at a cost of LE140 ($20) and LE350 ($50) for each square metre.
Egypt's tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, has seen several blows since the 2011 January uprising.
The total number of tourists who visited Egypt in the first four months of 2014 has reached 2.8 million, a 2.75 percent decline from the same period last year, according to official figures.