CAIRO: Visitors from Russia remained an important part of Egypt’s tourism trade, Cairo’s envoy to Moscow has said.
And addressing representatives of major Russian tourism companies at a forum organized by the Egyptian Embassy in Russia, ambassador Nazih Al-Najari highlighted efforts to further increase traveller numbers.
Amr El-Kady, chief executive officer of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, joined the event via video call. Moscow-based representatives of national flag carrier EgyptAir were also among the audience.
Egypt’s historical and cultural sites were popular attractions for Russian visitors, but Egyptian tourism chiefs hope to promote other destinations too in the north African country.
In October, Russian airline Aeroflot resumed services from Moscow to the cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, after having suspended direct flights to Egypt on March 8 due to what it described as “unfavorable conditions” as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said Egypt had this year witnessed a 30 percent increase in visitors. He pointed out that Egypt’s government was working with the private sector to get tourist numbers back to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels and hit a tourism revenues target of $30 billion by 2025.
Around 125,000 Russian tourists visited Egypt during the first two weeks of this year and more than 700,000 travelled there in 2021.
According to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the overall number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 85.4 percent to 4.9 million in the first half of this year, compared to 2.6 million over the same period in 2021.
The number of tourists from all countries reached 8 million in 2021, up from 3.7 million in 2020, representing a 117.5 percent rise.
Agency figures showed Eastern European countries accounting for 50.6 percent of Egypt’s tourism business last year, followed by the Middle East at 18.9 percent, Western Europe with 16.4 percent, and Africa making up 7.1 percent.