DUBAI, UAE - The flow of tourists to Egypt will be returning to the same level that recorded in 2010 and we are focusing our efforts on various global markets, particularly the Arab ones, Egypt's Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abd El Nour said.
"We received 14.7 million tourists in 2010. However, it became 9.8 million tourists in 2011 and revenue went down to $8.8 billion. The current year gives us good hopes and strong indication" he added.
"During the coming months, we will try to bring back tourism rates to their previous levels witnessed in 2010. The rate of Arab tourists during the first three months of this year has witnessed a growth of about 62.9 percent compared with the overall rate of increase in visitors during the first quarter, which only amounted to 32 percent."
El Nour is currently touring to the United Arab Emirates to take part the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition. The four-day program has confirmed over 2,400 exhibitors from 87 countries. The program includes the seminar series, workshops and specialist industry. Tourism Ministers from across the Middle East will attend a special session that will focus on driving the region's tourism agenda.
The number of tourists from Saudi Arabia to Egypt also is growing. âSaudi Arabia is an important market for us. Over 46,734 Saudi tourists visited Egypt during the last four months. Last year, during the same period we received only 32,718 tourists from KSA", he explained.
Furthermore, the number of nights Saudi tourists spent in Egypt is about 806,000 nights, compared to approximately 460,000 nights in the first quarter of 2011, which again shows an increase of 75 percent. El Nour also said that several new projects have been coming up in Egypt. "A Saudi businessman is investing $1 billion in resorts and hotels in Egypt" he said.
Records show that the number of Arab tourists who visited Egypt during the three months of this year is 483,834 tourists in 2012 compared to 296,980 tourists during the same period in 2011, which shows an increase of about 62.9 percent. Furthermore, the number of nights Arab tourists spent in Egypt is about 7.4 million nights, compared to approximately 4 million nights in the first quarter of 2011, which again shows an increase 84.4 percent. In addition, the number of Emirati tourists during the first quarter of 2012 is 4,883 in oppose to 4,232 tourists in the same period of 2011, an increase of 15.4 percent. While the number of nights Emirati tourists spent at Egypt is approximately 61,000 nights compared to 57,000 nights of the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 6.4 percent.
The number of Kuwaiti tourists who visited Egypt during the first quarter of this year is 17,256 compared to 14,251 tourists during the same period in 2011, which shows an increase of about 21.1 percent. Furthermore, the number of nights Kuwaiti tourists spent in Egypt is about 369,000 nights, compared to approximately 270,000 nights in the first quarter of 2011, which again shows an increase of 36.4 percent.
El Nour reviewed the Ministry's strategy in Arabian markets during the coming period, which looks toward highlighting Egypt's pioneering and solid position as a key driver of the most important historical, cultural and artistic events in the region, and as one of the favorite destinations for tourists from around the world.
Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism's strategy focuses on Egypt's willingness to receive tourists throughout the year and to work on organizing various artistic and cultural events and festivals.
"The tourism ministry has asked travel agencies and hotel establishments to urge them to provide more offers and programs specifically designed for Arab tourists. These should tailored for destinations located on the shores of the Red Sea such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam, in addition to Cairo, Alexandria and the North Coast; and for the duration of the next summer season, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr.
He shed light on the significant improvement made within the Egyptian tourism industry, particularly with regards to security and stability despite some individual events, where the Egyptian tourism sector managed to reduce negative impacts resulting from recent political events, and was able to achieve continuous growth month after month.