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Egypt Tourism Industry Continues its Revival

Egypt Tourism Industry Continues its Revival

Sunday, 8 December, 2019 - 08:30
A worker walks near his camel as he waits for tourists at the Giza pyramids area, south of Cairo. (Reuters)

Egypt has started to gradually regain its position among the major tourist countries in the world as its tourism sector is expected to recover strongly during the next year with the launch of a global advertising campaign.

The campaign is expected to generate the highest revenues in the country since 2010.

Tourism revenues jumped 28 percent to record about $12.6 billion in the FY 2018-2019 ending last June 30, compared to $9.8 billion during the FY 2017-2018.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Egypt’s tourism revenues in 2019-2020 to reach $16.5 billion. However, the organization said the country exceeded the numbers for 2009-2010 in terms of revenue, but not in tourist numbers.

Tourism revenues fell to the lowest in 2015-2016 after the crash of a Russian plane with 224 tourists in Sinai. As a result, Russia and UK suspended flights to and from Egypt.

The increase in revenues came after the liberalization of the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, which made the Egyptian market more accessible to foreign tourists.

In addition, cultural tourism increased as its revenues represent twice the recreational tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada resorts.

Meanwhile, Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, through his Raiffeisen Touristik Group, acquired Thomas Cook in Germany.

Following the acquisition, hundreds of travel agencies moved to Sawiris to become one of the largest travel business leaders in Germany, according to Handelsblatt newspaper.

Sawiris owns 74.9 percent of the Raiffeisen Touristik Group, which generates around €3.5bn in sales per year. The group includes Otto brand Reiseland, Thomas Cook Netherlands, and 700 private travel agencies.

Earlier this year, Thomas Cook, one of the world's oldest tourism companies, and many national companies working with it declared bankruptcy, and since then, major sales and acquisitions are in full swing.

Sawiris also holds shares in the tour operator FTI from Munich and owns one third of the company. He also took over parts of it as a co-owner three years ago.

Sawiris is looking to expand further into the tourism industry as his company is associated with the development of the hotel business.

Meanwhile, General Manager of City Stars for Construction Amr al-Kurdani announced the largest tourism project in the Middle East with an area of 7.5 million square meters in Sharm El-Sheikh.

City Stars Sharm El-Sheikh will be established in the Nabq area in a location surrounded by high mountains which will provide a sea view. The project is expected to attract about 1.5 million tourists annually.

The company's projects vary between residential, hotel and entertainment to meet all needs, he added, indicating that Egypt has great and promising investment opportunities.

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