Egypt’s tourism sector is gradually recovering after revenues increased by almost 70% to 4 billion in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. USD fell, tourism ministers and tour operators said.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped to 3. 5 million last year from Jan.. 1 million in 2019, Tourism and Antiques Minister Khaled El-Enany told Reuters. Overseas occupancy in Egyptian hotels fell to just 10-15% of the 2019 level.
Tourism accounts for up to 15% of Egypt’s national production and is an important source of foreign currency.
Officials have unveiled new archaeological discoveries to revive visitor numbers and hope the late opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum next to the Pyramids, expected later this year, will help the sector recover.
« The goal right now is not to count the number of tourists but to say that Egypt is a safe tourist destination during the coronavirus pandemic, » Enany said.
Egypt plans to start vaccinating against Covid-19 this month after China’s Sinopharm vaccine was approved. However, it was unclear how quickly the program could be rolled out.
« In 2021, recovery with the vaccine will be gradual, » said Mohamed Farouq, managing director of travel agency Egypt Express. “It will be slow . . . until this virus is completely controlled. ”
On Sunday, the Egyptian central bank extended the waiver of debt interest payments for tourism companies and other companies until the end of June.
After a second wave of infections in Egypt in December, postponed bookings were even canceled, said Elhamy Mostafa of Emeco Travel.
« We know that the problem is not just Egypt, the tourist cannot travel. Or when he comes home he has to be quarantined, « said Mostafa. “This problem will remain. ”
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