Worldwide tourism sector is suffering daily losses due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to Ehab Abdel Aal, Treasurer of the Cultural Tourism Association.
Speaking to Daily News Egypt, Abdel Aal said Egypt`s tourism sector is estimated to lose between $2.5-3bn by mid-April, which marks a month since the country’s suspension of international flights.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the suspension of all international flight from 19 to 31 March, as part of the state’s efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The cabinet also announced on 24 March that international flight suspension will continue until 15 April.
“Our original expectations for Egypt`s tourism sector revenues before the coronavirus were estimated at about $16bn, thus on average Egypt`s tourism sector monthly revenues would stand at $1.5bn,” Abdel Aal said.
He added that as the current season is considered a high tourism season, so the losses will double. Abdel Aal also said that Egypt will lose up to $3bn by the end of April, if the pandemic was not controlled.
Adding to Abdel Aal’s comments, Elhamy El-Zayat, former chairperson of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF), told Daily News Egypt that 2019 figures show Egypt`s tourism sector achieves an average monthly revenues of about $1.3bn.
He added that due to the coronavirus outbreak and the halting of international flights, Egypt will lose an average of $1.3bn a month. He also said that the tourism sector is suffering worldwide.
El-Zayat expects that, under the best conditions, the coronavirus’ negative impact will last for about six months as it is a global crisis.
Abdel Aal said that as cultural tourism represents about 15% of Egypt`s total tourism revenues, the share of this sector’s losses would stand at about $400m.
In terms of the losses in Luxor and Aswan, Abdel Aal forecasts losses in these cities to be between $300-400m by mid- April.
In a recent report, the Arab Tourism Organization estimated losses across the Middle East at about $ 30.6bn if the epidemic is not controlled by the end of April.
As a result of flight suspensions and airport closure in efforts to control the coronavirus, the organisation expects airline losses across the Middle East may reach $14.4bn, if the crisis extends until the end of April. These figures confirm that the aviation sector’s losses worldwide will break the $200bn barrier.