Egypt tourist numbers down 54 pct in April

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Jun 2016


Egypt suffered a 54 percent drop in the number of incoming tourists in April compared to a year earlier, state statistics body CAPMAS said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

The number of tourists who visited Egypt in April was 425,000, down from about 923,900 during the same month in 2015, mainly due to the drop in the numbers of visitors from the Russian Federation, said CAPMAS.

Egypt's tourism sector, which relies heavily on tourists from Russia, suffered a severe blow with the ban of passenger flights to Egypt following the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October which raised concerns about security at Egypt's airports.

The crash of an Egyptair passenger plane over the Mediterranean on its way from Paris to Cairo last month is also likely to have hindered the recovery of the sector, according to international tourism experts.

Tourism revenue totalled $500 million revenue in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $1.5 billion a year earlier, a tourism ministry adviser told Reuters in April.

Only 13.2 percent of incoming tourists hailed from Eastern Europe, 54 percent of whom were from the Ukraine. The largest contingent, representing 35 percent of total visitors, came from Western Europe, of which 36 percent were from Germany.

About 28 percent of the tourists were from the Middle East, 30 percent of whom were Saudi nationals.

Egypt welcomed more than 14.7 million tourists who visited the North African country in 2010, before the uprising which toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak in January 2011 and subsequent upheavals that led tourist numbers to drop to 9.8 million in 2011.

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