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40% hike in Italian tourists in Egypt in 2019 - Daily News Egypt

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40% hike in Italian tourists in Egypt in 2019

Egypt must continue diversifying tourism markets in 2020, says El-Damery

Tourism in Egypt has increased during 2019, reaching 13 million visitors, including a stark 40% increase in Italian tourists, reports Italian newspaper Travelquotidiano.

The newspaper said that Emad Fathy, the Head of International Tourism at the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority, said efforts were still ongoing to achieve the Egyptian Tourism Authority’s goal to increase the number of Italian tourists coming to Egypt.

He mentioned that Egypt will also be participating in the Bit Travel exhibition this year to promote itself as a “multi-tourist destination,” also in anticipation of the Grand Egyptian Museum inauguration scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Bit Travel Exhibition is scheduled to be held 9 to 11 February in Milano.

“We focus on those places that can meet and satisfy all goals and needs of the tourists, varying between coastal tourism in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Marsa Matrouh and  Alamein, to classic destinations such as Luxor, Aswan, Cairo, and Alexandria, in addition to the path of the Holy Family trip,” he said.

The Italian market was ranked sixth in terms of countries that send tourists to Egypt, in which 1m Italian tourists visited Egypt in 2010, which is considered the peak year for tourism, according to the State Information Service’s report in 2018.

“Before 2014, Egypt was dependent on only four source markets including British, German, Russian, and Italian markets, which were representing more than 75% of the annual tourism revenues in Egypt,” the retired president of the Tourism Promotion Board Authority, Hesham El Damery, told Daily News Egypt.

El-Damery said that since 2015, Egypt began to attract non-traditional markets, including people from Ukraine, and Poland.

Notably, Egypt’s tourism sector suffered a big hit in 2011 after the revolution before taking another blow in 2015, when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai, leaving no survivors. Subsequently, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh amid concerns over the airport’s security measures, banning travel to Sinai. The Russian government resumed Russian flights to Cairo in April 2018, while the British government resumed its flights to Sharm El-Sheik in October 2019.

In those years, Egypt depended heavily on the Russian and British markets, experiencing a dramatic drop in revenue when they suspended flights. However, tourism recovered slowly but surely over the years after exploring other source markets in East Europe, and Asia.

El Damery said that these new markets include Serbia, and Bulgaria, in addition to South Korea, China, India, and Malaysia, assuring that Egypt has to continue diversifying source markets in 2020, in order to absorb any shocks in the tourism sector.

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