Egypt tourism officials are optimistic about receiving more visitors in 2021. Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany told Reuters recently that numbers are increasing steadily since January to around half a million tourists per month as of recently.
According to the reports, tourism revenue is crucial to the country’s recovers since foreign currency for Egypt, plunged by 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. For Egypt, tourism accounts for as much as 15% of the country’s overall GDP.
Monthly tourism revenues climbed to about $500 million in April, half of the pre-pandemic win according to Reuters. Officials now hope for a recovery by the end of the year when it aims to have vaccinated tourism staff in resorts along the Red Sea and name the area a COVID-free destination. Minister Enany was quoted saying:
“More than 65% of (tourists) are coming to the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates because they are open air spaces and (there are) water activities. It is exactly what the tourist is seeking after COVID.”
In corollary news, Egypt and Russia in April agreed to resume all flights between the two countries in a call between their presidents, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Vladimir Putin. Flights from Russia to resort destinations Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada were suspended after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing 224 people.
Finally, the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB) revealed recently that 6 million tourists are expected to arrive in Egypt by the end of 2021. Mohamed Kaoud, President of the EJB’s Tourism and Aviation Committee, had high praise for the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities’ decision to set a minimum price for 4-star and 5-star rooms. According to Kaoud, the decision will help raise the quality of Egypt’s tourism and services available in Red Sea cities.