Tourism in Egypt generated revenues that increased 83.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to $2.2 billion.
A government official who pled anonymity to Reuters said the number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 37.1 percent to 2.383 million. Financial Times reported that tourist numbers in the first quarter of 2018 were up 30 per cent over the previous year, industry data suggested, and hotel occupancy rates at their highest since 2010.
Tourism is one of the leading sources of income, crucial to Egypt’s economy. At its peak in 2010 the sector employed about 12% of Egypt’s workforce serving approximately 14.7 million visitors Egypt, and providing revenues of nearly $12.5 billion, as well as contributing more than 11% of GDP and 14.4% of foreign currency revenues.
However, the tourism sector has been struggling since 2011 when an uprising that ousted then President Hosni Mubarak started. The 2011 Egyptian revolution that included attacks on foreign journalists such as British journalist Natasha Smith and South African Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Midan (Liberation Square), along with the series of 2012–13 Egyptian protests, negatively affected tourism in the transcontinental nation.
Prior to the 2011 Egyptian revolution, a total of 14.7 million people visited Egypt in 2010. But during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the number of visitors plummeted by over 37% that year falling from 14 million in 2010 to 9 million by the end of 2011.
In the first half of 2014 the number of tourists further declined by 25% as compared with the same period of 2013, while revenues shrank by 25% as well. In 2013, Egypt ranked 85th as the world’s best country in terms of tourism and traveling, falling ten places from its ranking of 75 in 2011.
The new regime has worked hard to create stability and the Red Sea resorts in particular have had increasing tourist numbers. Under the new regime, Egypt regained some ground in the 2017 rankings of world’s best country in terms of tourism and traveling, as it was being rated 75th overall.
Attesting to the overhaul in the industry, Bloomberg in 2017 said Egypt has “shed its years of social and political unrest” and makes the top 20 list of 2017 travel destinations. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently revealed that Egypt is one of the world’s fast-growing tourist destinations for 2017.
Tourism minister, Rania al-Mashat, said that tourism revenues were projected to reach $8bn this year, up from $7.6bn last year, when 8.3m people visited Egypt. The opening the country’s Grand Museum in 2019 would contribute to the positive development.