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Egypt sees 5.2% annual tourists rise in April: CAPMAS

Around 1.1 million tourists visited Egypt in April 2013, a 5.2% increase on the same month last year, official statistics agency says

Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Jun 2013
Tourists take pictures at the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo (Photo:Reuters)

Egypt received 1.1 million tourists in April 2013, 5.2 percent more than the 1 million it received in the same period last year, but still less than April 2010 when 1.2 million visited the country, state statistics agency CAPMAS reported on Sunday.

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou had expected the numbers to reach 2010 levels, when an estimated 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt and generated $12.5 billion in revenue.

According to the report, the largest proportion of tourists came from Western Europe, followed then by Eastern Europeans and then tourists from the Middle East, who spent a total of 11.1 million nights in the country, 8.4 percent less than last year.

Tourists from Arab countries increased by 3.6 percent to reach almost 182,000 in April 2013. In April 2012 only 175,000 visited Egypt.

However, the average number of nights spent by each Arab tourist was 10.6 nights in April 2013, while in 2012 it was 12.2 nights.

On Friday, a group of 134 Iranians completed a visit of Egypt, the second such tour since a ban on Iranian visitors was lifted, despite protests by some ultra-conservative Sunnis who deem Iranian Shias "heretics" and suspect Iran is trying to spread Shiism in the Sunni-Muslim world.

Egypt's tourism sector received several blows since the beginning of this year, the most serious of which was the highly-publicised hot air balloon accident in Luxor that left 19 tourists dead in late January.

Tourism experts have estimated hotel occupancy rates to have reached approximately 10 percent in hotels in Cairo, the Red Sea and Luxor.

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