The number of tourists that visited Egypt from the start of 2017 until November registered 7.5 million, marking a 54.7% increase compared to the same period in 2016, according to data released by the Egyptian government.
Tourist arrivals are on an increasing trend, yet the number is still well below the peak of 14.5 million tourists in 2010. Inbound tourism dropped to 5.3 million tourists in 2016 from around 9.3 million tourists in 2015, following the Russian Metrojet crash in October 2015 and the travel ban subsequently imposed by both Russia and the United Kingdom.
According to the data, tourist arrivals in November 2017 registered 778,000, rising from 499,000 in November 2016. The number of Arab tourists increased by 24% in the same period to register 140,000, while African tourist arrivals increased by 51%.
Tourism revenues make up 11.5% of Egypt’s total GDP according to the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism revenues fell to $3.4bn in 2016, decreasing by 44.3% from 2015, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer told Reuters in January.
Earlier in December 2017, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov and Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi signed an agreement on civil aviation security to resume flights between the two countries—to Cairo Airport only—in February 2018.
The return of Russian flights and tours could be a massive boost to tourist numbers. It is estimated that the suspensions cost Egypt’s tourism industry $4m per day, according to the Ministry of Tourism.