The Coronavirus pandemic has severely damaged the Egyptian tourism sector. In 2020, Egypt recorded low revenues from this sector, which it considers very important to its budget.
The tourism sector’s annual revenues decreased to less than the third compared to previous years — an indication of the weight of the crisis.
Khaled Al-Anani, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, said tourism revenues amounted to about $4 billion in 2020, down from $13.03 billion in 2019.
Al-Anani said Covid caused severe damage to the sector. However, he says, Egypt focuses on keeping the country a safe destination despite the crisis.
The number of tourists who visited Egypt reached about 3.5 million tourists in 2020, compared to 13.1 million in 2019.
“We witnessed a great year in 2019 in terms of numbers and revenues. And, the first two months in 2020 were about to be higher with about 8% in numbers and revenues. More than 2.4 million tourists have had visited the country at the time.”
A safe destination
Egypt closed hotels in March when the COVID-19 crisis began. The country then reopened them after about two months with only 25% of the capacity. It increased that percentage later 50%.
Al-Anani said, “We are working to build a [good] tourist reputation for the tourists to visit the country after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
He said the number of hotels that obtained licenses to operate in line with the new protective measurements is about 700 hotels from a total of 1,200 hotels in Egypt.
Egypt reopened its airports to international commercial flights at the beginning of last July.
Stats and numbers
Tourism Minister said, “The foreign tourism occupancy rates in our hotels currently average between 10 – 15% of 2019 numbers”.
“The Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers will sign within a week a contract with a foreign company to work out a strategy to develop Egyptian tourism.”
“It will include all tourist destinations and markets and will be put forward in May 2021.”
Egypt recorded the largest number of tourists in 2010. Then, 14.7 million tourists visited the country, and revenues reached $12.5 billion.