Egypt sees major increase in tourism revenues: minister

February 3, 2015 3:41 am 

CAIRO, Feb. 2 — egypt posted a major increase in tourism revenues in 2014 compared to that of previous years, Egyptian tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said on Sunday.

Zaazou told reporters in Cairo that the revenues from tourism in 2014 rose to USD7.5 billion from USD5.9 the previous years, or a 27 percent increase.

The minister also said that egypt saw 10 million tourists last year as compared to 9.5 million in 2013.

The North African country is striving to revive the ailing tourism industry, once a key source of income which has notably deteriorated for the past four years, after the 2011 political turmoil that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Anti-government terror attacks by Islamist militants have led many countries to warn their residents of traveling to Egypt.

However, numbers of tourists jumped notably last summer after several European countries lifted travel warnings against Egypt's popular Red Sea resorts in the Sinai Peninsula, whose northern part is a hotbed for terrorists.

Meanwhile, the minister pointed out that tourists' per night spending average increased to 80 dollars as well.

Zaazou said his ministry is exerting efforts through his shuttle tours and meetings with his counterparts in many countries to encourage tourists to make Egypt their tourist destination.

He expected that September will witness the recovery of tourism, hoping that Egypt will regain its status as the region's most popular tourist country.

The final quarter of 2013 marked the worst in the industry when security forces dispersed two sit-ins by supporters of ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in August, leaving hundreds dead.

One year before the 2011 revolution that removed Mubarak from power, around 15 million tourists visited Egypt, bringing some USD12.5 billion in revenues.

In an attempt to improve its deteriorating economy, Egypt will hold a major economic conference in March. The conference is meant to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment over the planned four-year period to help improve the already staggering economy. (PNA/Xinhua)

FFC/EBP

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