Numbers point to Egypt tourism slumpPosted: March 19, 2014
Strife-torn Egypt has suffered a 28% drop in tourists so far this year, a new report claims.
European tourists visiting the country in January and February are down by 24% when compared to 2013 figures, Mail Online reported, citing statistics released by Egypt’s Ahram newspaper.
They contribute to an overall 28% decline when visitors form other key markets, such as the Middle East and Arab countries, are taken into account.
One of the biggest losses was from the Asia-Pacific region, with 42% less visitors to Egypt than during the same period last year.
The country’s tourism sector accounts for roughly 9% of GDP, but has experienced several setbacks since president Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in 2011.
Egypt received a record 14.7 million visitors in 2010 but numbers dipped to just 10 million in 2011 before climbing again to 11.5 million in 2012.
The latest statistics for 2013 are still not available but Eygpt is normally a popular winter sun destination.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not declared Red Sea resorts off-limits, but has advised against all travel beyond the resort area.
Four people were killed when a tourist bus was attacked in Taba in South Sinai last month, close to the Israeli border at Eilat.
Many operators stopped running excursions from Red Sea resorts to nearby St Catherine’s Monastery – the Greek Orthodox monastery that dates back to the 6th century – following the attack.
Security at resorts was stepped up but Germany issued a travel warning against visits to the peninsular.
The FCO said: “Enhanced security measures are in place to protect the Sharm el-Sheikh resort areas.
“Egyptian military are situated in Sharm el-Sheikh international airport, at check points around the perimeter of Sharm el-Sheikh and throughout the South Sinai Governorate.
“Routine security checks are being performed on entry into the airport and the police are carrying out vehicle checks in Sharm el-Sheikh.
“There were no violent protests in the South Sinai resorts during recent disturbances in Egypt.”
Tourists are also free to travel to city destinations, such as Cairo, Luxor and Alexandria but are advised to avoid all protests.
Sourced from Travel Weekly