Egypt tourism drops 41.9 pct in July year-on-year - state statistics agency

Monday 29-08-2016 03:14 PM

Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort - Reuters photo

CAIRO, Aug 29 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt suffered a 41.9 per cent drop in the number of incoming tourists in July compared to a year earlier, the state-run statistics agency said in a statement on Monday.

A total of 529,200 tourists visited Egypt in July 2016, dropping from 911,600 in July 2015, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

The agency attributed its findings largely due to a 60 per cent decline in incoming Russian tourists and a 17.5 per cent slump in number of British tourists.

Moscow suspended all flights to Egypt pending an investigation into an October 2015 crash of a Russian jet above Sinai.

The United Kingdom also halted all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh following the crash. 

The charter flight operated by Russian airline Metrojet broke up midair 23 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Airport as it headed to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board. 

A Russian delegation is expected to arrive in Egypt on Monday to inspect resorts, hotels and airports’ security and check security at Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurgada airports. The delegation will then determine whether Russian flights to Egypt will be resumed. 

Egypt's finance minister said earlier in August that he expects tourism revenues in FY 2015/ 2016 to reach $4 - $4.5 billion, with losses in its last 10 months being "the worst in 15 years."  

Moody's Investors Services also reported last month that tourism revenues fell in the first quarter of 2016 to record its lowest level since 1998.

According to the Moody's report published on Jul. 6, tourism revenues fell to $551 million in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest since March 1998 and much lower than the third-quarter 2010 peak of $3.6 billion.

Egypt has been trying to revive the sector, a main source of hard currency, since a popular uprising in 2011 triggered years of political turmoil, taking a heavy toll on tourism.

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