Tourist Visits To Egypt Fell 25% In July

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in July 2013 reached 765,000, a drop of 25 percent below the same month last year, Egypt’s official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Wednesday.

This brings the total number of tourist visits in the first seven months of 2013 to 6.7 million, an 8 percent increase above 6.2 million in 2012.ell

The drop in July signals the end of what appeared to be a healthy recovery for the sector in the first half of 2013. On 3 July the Egyptian army moved to oust president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests, triggering a wave of unrest and violence that scared away tourists.

Egypt received some one million tourists in July 2012. Arab countries saw the largest decline, falling 59 percent to reach a mere 90,000 in July 2013; while European tourists fell by 14 percent to 629,500.

In July 2010 a total of 1.3 million tourists visited the country.

The tourism sector, which accounts for about 9 percent of GDP, has received several blows since a popular uprising forced president Hosni Mubarak to step down in 2011. Prolonged periods of unrest and sporadic violence have led many countries to warn their citizen against travelling to Egypt.

Egypt attracted 14.7 million visitors in 2010, a record high. That fell to around 10 million in 2011, then rose to 11.5 million in 2012.

Driven by a stalemate in foreign tourism following the bloody dispersal of Islamist-led sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August, the government launched an initiative to encourage domestic tourism in an attempt to boost hotel occupancy rates in September.

The initiative includes low-price packages for Egyptians, including air tickets and accommodation in four and five star hotels.

Source: Ahram Online