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War and tensions mean Egypt dials down tourist forecast

Egypt tourist Grand Egyptian Museum Giza Alamy/Tamer Adel
The Grand Egyptian Museum is one of several projects the country hopes will dramatically increase the number of tourists
  • Target cut by between 8% and 14%
  • But at least a 4% rise expected
  • Record revenues so far in 2024

Egypt has revised its tourist targets downwards because of the continuing conflicts in the region.

However the country is still hoping to receive a record number of visitors in 2024.

Egypt’s tourism minister Ahmed Issa told Sky News Arabia this week that his ministry had lowered its expectations down from 18 million to between 15.5 million and 16.5 million tourists, after a record 14.9 million visitors in 2023.



In the first four months of 2024, 5 million tourists came to Egypt, the second-highest number after 2010.

Issa said the influx brought in the highest amount in private sector tourism revenues since records began, although he did not cite specific figures.

Tourism in Egypt is “growing at unprecedented rate”, he said, with Cairo continuing to be the most popular destination for tourists, followed by Hughada, Sharm el Sheikh, Marsa Alam and the north coast. 

The relatively low number of visitors to the north coast highlights the importance of ADQ’s multi-billion project to develop Ras al Hekma as a key source of investment that, Issa said, will increase the number of hotel rooms on Egypt’s north coast and solve its present “seasonality crisis”.

Issa spoke of the ministry’s ambition to develop Cairo as a “short city break” and to increase the average number of nights visitors spend in the capital. 

A new tourism centre will open at the Pyramids of Giza before the end of June, he said, featuring “hop-on, hop-off, environmentally friendly buses.”

Issa also listed the opening of the $1.5 billion Grand Egyptian Museum by July 1 and “a number of openings, developments, and renovations” at the Salah al-Din Citadel complex, which are intended to increase recommended visiting times from one hour to four hours.

Issa said he also expected 25,000 new hotel rooms to open across the country in the next 12 months.

However he stressed that the number of rooms needed to more than double by 2028, from 200,000 at present to 420,000. That implies an opening rate of 55,000 new rooms a year.

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