The Ministry of Tourism cancelled its participation in a Kyiv Exhibition due to the political conditions, according to an official at the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority (ETPA).
Strife has broken out between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the central government.
The official said, in an exclusive statement to Daily News Egypt, that the exhibition was going to be held at the end of March, with a fee of €1,350 for each company or hotel.
Ukraine was among the top 10 countries providing the largest numbers of tourists to Egypt during 2014, the official said, adding that the number exceeded 300,000 tourists.
The Kyiv exhibition is one of the main arenas in which the Ministry of Tourism participates annually, according to the official, who added that “this will negatively affect the inflow to Egypt”.
“The ministry confirms that the coming period will witness a decline in the incoming Ukrainian tourism movement at rates not less than 30%, with the failure to resolve the conflict between separatists and the central government in Kyiv,” said the official.
Ukrainians prefer staying in hotels and resorts in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada rather than other inland areas in Egypt where sightseeing of monuments is available, especially Luxor, Aswan and Cairo.
The number of tourists who visited Egypt last year was 10 million, and the Ministry of Tourism hopes to increase the numbers to 12 million tourists by the end of 2015.
The European Union (EU) renewed economic sanctions on Russia until September for the occupation of Crimea Peninsula.
According to the official, despite the trade announcement between Egypt and Russia through the national currency of each country, the Ministry of Tourism has not yet received Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) approval to deal in roubles and Egyptian pound. “The issue is under the study of CBE,” he said.
Russia represents 30% of total tourist flow to Egypt annually, according to the official, topping all other tourist flows with three million tourists last year.
ETPA Chairman Samy Mahmoud said in a press release to Daily News Egypt that the Ministry of Tourism is moving to East European markets and new markets in central, eastern and southern Asia, under the Russian crisis with EU countries.
“We have a great potential in achieving a number of 500,000 tourists from new markets by the end of this year especially from Central Asia and India in light of flight lines being directed to these area,” added the official.
Tourism income to Egypt during the past year has risen to $7.5bn compared to $5.9bn in the previous year.