Egypt's tourism minister Rania Al-Mashat during a meeting with Chairman of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Hiromi Tagawa (Photo Courtesy of Egypt's tourism ministry)
The number of Japanese tourists to Egypt increased by 38.2 percent during the first nine months of 2019, in comparison to the same period of 2018, tourism minister Rania Al-Mashat said during her participation in the Tourism Expo Japan 2019, held in Osaka.
Al-Mashat listed Tokyo as one of the most important Japanese tourism exporting cities to Egypt, followed by Osaka, and Hokkaido.
She highlighted during her meeting with Chairman of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Hiromi Tagawa that the tourism industry grew by 16.5 percent in 2018, according to the World Tourism and Travel Council figures, which is over four times the average growth of global tourism, recording 3.9 percent.
Al-Mashat mentioned the positive indicators of the country's tourism sector through its Egypt — Tourism Reform Programme, adopted in 2018.
The reform programme reflected positively on dollar revenues from tourism in the country's balance of payments, she added, as the country reported a 28 percent rise in revenues from tourism, recording $12.6 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019.
Egypt continues to push through with efforts to revamp a once ailing sector which suffered major hits due to political instability in the past years, including a Russian plane crash over Sinai, which killed all on board in late 2015.
Flights to the popular Red Sea hub of Sharm El-Sheikh were grounded following the deadly crash pending improved security measures in the country's airports; however, a number of European countries, excluding Russia, announced the resumption of flights to the resort.
Last week, the British government lifted a ban on direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, prompting hopes for continued growth in the tourism sector.
Egypt aims to attract 12 million tourists in FY 2019/2020; an 11 percent rise from the FY 2018/2019, according to a government document seen by Reuters.