FILE - Rania Al-Mashat
CAIRO – 22 November 2019: Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat on Thursday that the country earned over $12.5 billion in the 2018-19 fiscal year, as the North African country aims to restore its tourism glory that reached its peak in 2010.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Mashat said that the earnings in this fiscal year has been the highest ever in Egypt's history concerning the tourism sector.
“Today’s travelers are looking for experience, they’re looking for diversity of offer and they’re looking for being part of the local community,” Mashat said, adding that Egypt seeks reaching the peak of 2010 in terms of tourist numbers by the end of this year.
The number of tourists dramatically dropped following the January 25 uprising in 2011, which ousted Hosni Mubarak, president at the time, and left the country in a state of turmoil and instability. Tourism represents about 15 percent of the country's economy, according to Bloomberg.
Among recent decisions that is expected to help the recovery of the tourism sector is the UK's lifting of ban on flights to Sharm El Sheikh Airport in October.
UK flights to the South Sinai famous resort has been suspended since December 2015, after a Russian passenger plane was downed in a terrorist attack, killing all 224 people on board. Since then, both sides negotiated the resumption of flights, especially as Egypt heightened security measures and implemented all procedures demanded by the Russian side.
“The UK has been clear that flights to Sharm El-Sheikh should resume when the security situation allows. I am pleased that today we can announce the lifting of the current restrictions. We will continue to work closely with our partners in Egypt and airlines that plan to resume flights in the future,” British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Andrew Murrison said.