Egypt’s tourism revenues in Egypt will rise by 105 percent at the end of 2017, taking it to $7 billion, said Deputy Tourism Minister Adela Ragab on Wednesday.
According to Tariq Amer, governor of the Egyptian Central Bank, Egypt’s tourism revenues amounted to $3.4 billion in 2016.
During an interview with Al-Shorouk, Ragab said: “The number of tourists coming to Egypt may exceed 7.5 million by the end of this year.”
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation predicts that eight million tourists will have visited Egypt this year.
Some 5.9 million tourists visited Egypt between January and September this year, compared to 3.8 million during the same period the previous year, figured from the Ministry of Tourism show.
A number of European countries have lifted travel restrictions on Egypt over the past two years. These had been imposed after a plane carrying Russian tourists crashed shortly after taking off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in October 2015. All those onboard died as a result.
The expected increase in tourist numbers falls far short of the previously attained record of 14.7 million in 2010.
Tourism, which has sharply declined since the country fell into unrest as a result of mass protests calling for the ouster of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, over the past period, is one of Egypt’s most important sources of foreign currency.
The decline in tourist numbers, along with the mismanagement of government funds have forced the government to look for new forms of revenue including taking out a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In July, Egypt increased domestic electricity prices by between 18 percent and 42.1 percent for the current financial year 2018/2017.
The government in Cairo also increased fuel prices for the second time at the end of June by between 5.6 percent and 100 percent. It has been implementing an economic reform programme since last year, including the adoption of value-added tax, cuts in energy subsidies and floating the Egyptian pound in order to revive the economy.
Source: Middle East Monitor