Will Egypt church bombings affect its tourism surge?
Egypt's inbound tourism fell in 2016 to 5.3 million tourists—down from 9.3 million in 2015—after Russia and Britain halted their flights because of the fall of the Russian plane in October 2015.
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The Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) has sent a list of touristic events in April to the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association.
An official with the ETA said that the Egyptian tourism sector will take part in 25 events in Egypt and abroad.
He stressed that the ETA is embarking on a new chapter of cooperation with the private sector, which has shown promising results in tourist inflow in the first three months of 2017.
He pointed out that number of tourists has increased by 20%, compared to the same period in 2016.
Inbound tourism fell in 2016 to 5.3 million tourists—down from 9.3 million in 2015—after Russia and Britain halted their flights because of the fall of the Metro Jet airliner in October 2015.
Read more: Egypt's Inflation Surge Begins To Slow
The ETA is operating on two scenarios: the first is Russia continuing to suspend its flights to Egypt, while Britain continues its suspension of travel to Sharm El Sheikh. In this case, the ETA aims to reach at least 7 million tourists in 2017.
But if both countries resume their flights to Egypt, the ETA official expected the growth to be at 100%, reaching 10.5 million tourists, up from 5.3 million last year.
The source said that the improvement will not be limited to the number of tourists, but would rather take into consideration the average spending per day, which declined to $50 per person last year and is expected to reach $70 per person this year.
Tarek Adhma, a member of the ETA, said that the recent rapprochement between Egypt and European leaders, along with the recent presidential visit to the US, will push the growth of the tourism sector.
He said that recent tensions in Turkish-European relations will be for the benefit of Egypt, noting that Spanish hotels are saturated even though their prices were higher than usual, which prompted European tour operators to seek another low-cost destination, which Egypt can provide.
He said that European tour operators will pose pressure on their governments to lift travel warnings to Egypt.
The head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, Hisham Ali, said that the tourist inflow from Europe over the past few days was better than the same period last year.
Ali added that inflow from Germany is expected to increase during Easter, along with inflows from Arab countries—especially Jordan.
The source at the ETA said that the government is working to attract tourism from East and South Asian countries, especially from Japan and India.
He pointed out that the Red Sea area, Sharm El Sheikh, and Cairo will be the most attractive destinations to tourists.
By Abdel Razek Al-Shuwekhi
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