Egypt’s tourism earns top foreign cash
For the first time in Egypt’s history, the tourism sector has earned the title of the country’s largest generator of foreign currency, except oil exports, reported Al-Watan newspaper. Quoting official sources, the newspaper reported that incoming tourism provided revenues totaling $3.4 billion in 2000, leading the Suez Canal revenues and transfers of money by Egyptian expatriate workers
The growing prominence of the tourism sector is to no small degree a function of the improved facilities available in the country. Egypt’s tourism ministry recently reported that the available hotel occupancy grew from less than 19,000 rooms in 1982 to more than 106,000 rooms at the end of 2000. Approximately 40,000 of these hotel rooms are situated along the Red Sea and in southern Sinai.
By the end of 2000, the projects launched by the Tourism Promotion Authority amounted to 148 projects. Three giant projects will be inaugurated during 2001. At Abu Simbel, an international center for tourists will be opened to assist visitors in getting better acquainted with the contents of the temple before actually visiting. Some 60 stores will be built to sell tourist mementos.
At the Philae temples, the site will undergo an overall restoration to stop corrosion of the stone floor. Also the original gate will be restored. At Kalabsha, the temples will be restored and opened them for the first time in 20 years. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)