$7.5bn Tourism Income to Egypt in 2014: Minister

Egypt’s tourism revenues in 2014 rose to $7.5 billion from $5.9 billion the previous year, the tourism minister said on Sunday, marking a 27 percent increase in revenues from one of the country’s major sectors.

This puts the number of tourists who visited Egypt in the last quarter of 2014 at 2.6 million, compared to 1.9 million tourists in the same quarter of the previous year, according to Ahram Online’s calculations using official data.

The country received 9.9 million tourists in 2014, up from 9.5 million in 2013, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou told a news conference.

The country’s tourism sector, an important source of foreign currency, suffered a series of blows since the January 2011 revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Tourist numbers picked up dramatically last summer after several European countries lifted travel warnings against Egypt’s popular Red Sea resorts in the Sinai peninsula.

Revenues in Q4 2014 jumped 158 percent to $2.5 billion compared to $969 million in Q4 2013, according to Ahram Online’s calculations.

The industry was badly hit in the final quarter of 2013 following the violent dispersal by security forces of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in August, which left hundreds dead.

Egypt welcome some 14.7 million tourists in 2010, generating $12.5 billion in revenues, before the revolution.