Tourism in Egypt set to rise

The number of travellers heading to Egypt is set to increase by almost 20% despite growing unrest, according to the country’s tourism minister.

Egypt’s minister for tourism, Hisham Zaazou, claims that 8.8 million tourists visited Egypt in the first nine months of the year and predicts that this could rise to 12 million before the year is over.

He claims that the high levels of hotel occupancy are another reason for optimism. He also expects visitor numbers in 2013 to return to the same level seen before the civil unrest of the Arab Spring. The uprising occurred last year and led to the end of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s almost 30-year rule.

Mr Zaazou said that Egypt hoped to welcome 15 million visitors in 2013, which would be roughly the same number of travellers heading to the country in 2010. Last month, the minister made a bid to reassure potential visitors that traditional beach resorts such as the popular Sharm-El Sheikh would not be affected by the country’s new Islamic-led administration.

Speaking to Reuters, Mr Zaazou said: “Our desire to introduce additional products that would suit certain Arab and Islamic market segments... will not happen at the cost of our mainstream business.” The tourism industry is a significant part of the country’s economy, accounting for more than 10% of the total GDP before the Arab Spring.

Egypt is a hugely popular holiday destination and there are a number of historical ancient sites as well as stunning beaches to accommodate all holiday types. If you’re considering heading overseas, particularly to a country which has been subjected to political unrest, it could be advisable to check the Foreign Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) advice. Currently, the FCO advises against travel in the North Sinai area and South Sinai apart from Red Sea Resorts such as Sharm-El Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab, Travel insurance is also highly recommended, regardless of which country you are travelling to.

Date Created: 22 October 2012

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