Egypt tourism will finish 2011 down 25 per cent: Minister

Dalia Farouk, Tuesday 27 Sep 2011

After a year of revolutions and uprisings, visitor numbers and tourism income will both dip a quarter this year compared to 2010

Egyptian trinkets
Egyptian trinkets in search of lost buyers (Photo: Reuters)

Tourist numbers in Egypt will probably finish the year 25 per cent down on 2010 figures, said Egypt's tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour in a ceremony celebrating World Tourism Day.

He predicted that tourism income would also drop by a quarter on last year's amount.
 
Abdel Nour explained that tourism, one of Egypt's main foreign currency generators, has been gradually rebounding over the last 6 month, after hitting an 80 per cent drop in February due to the political turmoil sweeping the country.
 
The minister said that the main tourism season, starting in October, would be successful based on contracts already signed with tourist groups.
 
He added that tourism to the Middle East in general has dropped due to ongoing political instability, but it has been cushioned by a growth in tourists visiting some Gulf countries.
 
The southern city of Aswan was chosen to host the World Tourism Day ceremony, where attendees complimented the historic city's landscape.
 
Abdel Nour explained that picking Aswan to host the international event was part of a bigger scheme to promote tourism in Upper Egypt.  He added that long Nile cruises between Cairo and Luxor will resume as part of this scheme.
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