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Egypt’s tourist arrivals surpass 2010 peak

Egypt received 3.6 million tourists in the fourth quarter of 2023, rising 8 percent year on year
Egypt received 3.6 million tourists in the fourth quarter of 2023, rising 8 percent year on year

Tourist arrivals in Egypt reached 14.91 million in 2023, hitting the highest level since 2010, according to a news report.

The North African nation had received 14.73 million visitors in 2010, the Egypt Today newspaper reported.

The fourth quarter of 2023 saw a surge in tourism activity, an increase of 8 percent year on year to 3.6 million tourists, said tourism and antiquities minister Ahmed Issa.

In October 2023, the tourism minister set an ambitious target to attract 30 million tourists annually by 2028.

Tourism revenues rose 26.8 percent to $13.6 billion in 2022/2023, compared with $10.7 billion a year earlier, according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s October data.

Inbound tourists witnessed a 35.6 percent surge to 13.9 million visitors.

In addition, the number of nights spent in Egypt increased by 27.6 percent, setting a new record in 2022/2023.

Tourism, which accounts for about 12 percent of Egypt’s GDP, suffered during the pandemic. Travel restrictions and lockdowns wiped $17.6 billion from the Egyptian economy in 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Oxford Economics had forecast that tourism receipts will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 and then grow by an average of five to 10 percent per year over the medium term.

The S&P Global Ratings agency warned in November that a prolonged conflict in Gaza and Israel is likely to lead to a significant contraction in GDP and loss of foreign exchange receipts across Middle East and North Africa.

The conflict leaves the tourism sectors of Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan “most exposed” due to their geographical proximity to the fighting, the ratings agency said in a research note.

“These countries … are more vulnerable to a slowdown in tourism, given concerns about security risks and social unrest amid high external vulnerabilities,” the agency said.

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