Number of tourists coming to Egypt grew by a third in Jan-May 2012

Dalia Farouk, Tuesday 12 Jun 2012

Numbers are still down compared to 2010 levels, but tourism minister is optimistic they will grow

(Photo: Reuters)

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in the January-May 2012 period increased by 29 per cent since last year, Egypt's tourism minister said on Tuesday.

Touristic activity came to a near-complete halt early in 2011 following instability resulting from the popular uprising that led to the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Tourism minister Mounir Abdel Nour indicated that the number of occupied hotel rooms grew by 45 per cent in the first five months of 2012 over 2011.

Total tourists visiting Egypt in 2011 dropped by a third since 2010, to reach 10.2 million visitors.

Abdel Nour said in April that he expected the number of tourists to rebound in 2012 to pre-revolution levels of 14.5 million, after slumping in 2011.

Tourism makes up 11 per cent of Egypt's GDP and employs an estimated 1 in 8 Egyptians.

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