The Red Sea resort of Hurghada - Flickr The Red Sea resort of Hurghada - Flickr

Russian tourists can reach 1M in 2018: Tourism expert

Sun, Apr. 15, 2018
CAIRO – 15 April 2018: Russian tourists visiting Egypt are expected to reach one million by the end of year, former head of Egypt's Federation of Tourism Chambers Elhamy al-Zayat said on Sunday.

He expected that charter flights from Russia to the tourist resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada to be restored by October 2018.

Russian flights to Cairo were resumed on April 12 after more than two years of halting flights to Egypt on the back of the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai in late 2015.

Al-Zayat said the resumption of Cairo-Moscow flights would be a start for the recovery of Russian tourism to Egypt, though he said that it was important to restore charter flights because they are more cost-effective and will help in increasing tourist flows.

Until 2015, Russian tourists topped Egypt’s foreign tourist market, with three million Russians visiting the country in 2014 alone.

In 2015, some 2.3 million Russians visited Egypt before Russia halted passenger flights to Egypt in November 2015 over security concerns after the Russian flight accident that killed all 224 people on board.

In 2017, the number plummeted to a mere 100,000 tourists. Russian tourists can reach one million this year should charter flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, which top the list of favored destinations among Russian holidaymakers, be resumed.

Tourism is one of Egypt’s main foreign currency earners, but it has suffered several blows since the 25 January Revolution of 2011.

Flotation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016 has benefited tourism as Egypt has now become a cheaper destination for many tourists around the world.

Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 211.8 per cent year-on-year to $5.3 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared to $1.7 billion the year before.

The number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 55.3 per cent to 5.9 million, with European visitors reaching 3.2 million, an 85 percent increase from the previous year.

Despite the pickup in tourism recently, the numbers are still below the peak level of 2010 when 14 million tourists visited the country, generating $12.5 billion in revenues.

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