The uprising in the Palestinian territories did not appear to be having a serious effect on Egyptian tourism, said that country’s ministry of tourism in a recently released report. Nonetheless, the first month of Intifadat Al-Aqsa did see a decline in the number of travelers through the Rafah and Taba entry points — joining Egypt with Israel and the Palestinian areas — which was down by almost one quarter.
Accordingly, hotels in the Taba-Nuweiba area on the Gulf of Aqaba saw correspondingly large drops in occupancy, the report stated. 318,728 Israeli tourists visited Egypt during the first 10 months of the year, 15 percent less than the amount registered for the same period in 1999.
Overall, more than 4 million tourists visited Egypt in the year ending October 31, 16.4 per cent more than during the same period. During the first 10 months of 2000, the largest national contingent entering Egypt was from Italy, with 657,216 tourists. It was followed by Germany, with 640,295; France with 318,886, Israel with 318,728, Britain with 308,187; Saudi Arabia with 216,653, the Benelux countries with 206,446, the United States with 194,648; Palestine 124,261, and Russia and the other CIS states with 138,826.
Arab tourism to Egypt was down sharply. This, the report stated, was due to cheap travel packages being offered in these markets for travel to countries in Southeast Asian countries. In October, tourism from Qatar fell by 38.9 percent compared to October 1999. Tourism from the United Arab Emirates fell by 33.6 percent, from Bahrain by 19.5 percent, from Kuwait by 15.8 percent, and from Saudi Arabia by 3 percent. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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