The Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said that the number of tourists to Egypt increased by 40% during the first nine months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, recovering from a slump that began with the Arab Spring and continued as unrest persisted.
“We expect that by the end of 2018, we awill not be at the levels that we saw in 2010, but we are approaching that,” Al-Mashat continued during her interview with Bloomberg TV.
“The rebound is quite steep, and we are trying to put the industry on a competitive base compared to our peers,” she said.
Al-Mashat ensured that the government plans to use this improvement in tourism to encourage investments in the Red Sea islands, as well as into a new private equity fund to upgrade Egyptian hotels.
The minister talked also discussed the importance of tourism to the Egyptian economy, underlining that tourism revenues accounts for 20% of its profit.
Finally, the minister insisted that the government is trying to diversify its tourist base, targeting travellers from Asia and Latin America.
In that context, the former head of Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers, Elhamy El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt, that it is crucial to diverse the tourist base, highlighting that the map of the tourists coming to Egypt has changed, stating that before the 2011 uprising, Russian tourism was ranked number one on Egypt’s touristic map, followed by British and German tourism.
“On the contrary, now German tourists are ranked number one, followed by British tourists and then Ukraine tourists, in terms of tourist numbers,” El-Zayat added.
He elaborated that in order to retrieve the number of the tourists pre-2010, the government has to launch a marketing campaign to promote tourism in Egypt.
El-Zayat explained that before the 2011 uprising, tourism in 2010 was growing briskly, but then after the 2011 uprising, tourism suffered significantly, then it suffered the most in 2016, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its onboard passengers were killed.