Egypt saw 6.6 million tourists in first 8 months of 2015: Minister

Dalia Farouq , Ahram Online , Monday 5 Oct 2015

Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou (Photo: AP)

Egypt saw 6.6 millsion tourists in the first eight months of 2015, a five percent increase from the same period last year,minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou announced on Sunday.

Tourism revenues were raised by 2 percent during that time, compared to the first eight months of 2014, reaching a total of $4.5 billion, the minister said at a press conference.

Egypt's tourism industry, a vital source of foreign currency income, has been battered by political turmoil following the country's 2011 uprising which toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The industry felt another round of shockwaves after Egyptian army helicopters mistakenly killed eight Mexican tourists and four Egyptians members of their convoy, who had stopped for a picnic in Egypt's Western Desert, where the army said it had been pursuing militants.

After the incident, Zaazou told Reuters that he expects around 10 million tourists to visit Egypt by the end of the calendar year.

The minister urged Egyptians to promote Egypt as a tourist destination on social media sites, using the hashtag #ThisIsEgypt.

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