CAIRO: Egypt’s tourism revenues were between $3.5 and $4 billion during the first half of 2021 and the country received about 3.5 million visitors during the same period, Ghada Shalaby, deputy minister of tourism, told Reuters.
Egypt’s revenues from this vital sector were about $4 billion in 2020, down by 70 percent from $13.03 billion in 2019.
“We are expecting that numbers of tourists will increase by 45 percent to 60 percent during the next period compared with last year,” Shalaby said, adding that the average spend of a tourist per night was about $95.
Tourism revenue is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt and the industry usually accounts for up to 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Saeed in May forecast that Egypt would generate $6 billion in income from tourism activities in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
Last month, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany was presented with the first draft of a media strategy that would form part of a major industry push.
The strategy was a prelude to the launch of a three-year international promotional campaign for Egyptian tourism, starting at the end of 2021, El-Anany said.
Officials from the Canadian-English Alliance have helped to prepare the strategy, which promotes Egypt as a modern destination that can deliver a “unique tourism experience” throughout the year.
Saudi Arabia is among the top markets for tourism in Egypt and, now that the Kingdom has opened its borders for international travel, the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB) is ramping up its marketing drive to encourage more Saudi visitors.
“Revenues from tourism reached the highest point at $12.6 billion in 2019,” ETPB chairman Ahmed Youssef told Arab News.
“Saudi Arabia ranked among the top countries for travel to Egypt before the pandemic. The Saudi market represents the first and most important Arab market, ranking fifth for visitors to Egypt. The trend continued into the first two months of 2020 that recorded 8 percent year-on-year growth in terms of numbers and revenues, with 2.4 million tourists visiting the country during this period.”
Saudi Arabia is an important market for Egypt, leading the ETPB to make significant investments in promotional activities.
“Now that the country has opened its borders for international travel, we plan to run promotions in partnership with Saudi tour operators,” Youssef said. “In addition, we have incentive programs in place for the aviation industry, where airport landing and housing fees have been discounted by 50 percent. We also launched a digital campaign in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).”