Is the tourism industry returning to growth?
The tourism industry is cautiously (and from a very low base) returning to growth. That’s the take-home message from the AFP, which cites Tourism Federation chief Karim Mohsen as explaining that “there is an improvement, especially in cultural tourism in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan,” that saw arrival figures rise in October through January. Total arrivals were up 25% in December to 551,600 visitors, official figures show. Growth is being fueled by markets including China, Japan and the Ukraine, with China’s top public travel agency saying outbound volumes to Egypt are up 58% over 2015.
That’s why we’re noting that reps of 250 Ukrainian travel companies are mulling how to deliver 1 mn Ukrainian tourists to Egypt this year, more than double the 425,000 who arrived in 2016, and have met with Red Sea governor Ahmed Abdallah to discuss ways to promote Ukrainian tourism to Egypt, Egypt Independent reports. The governor’s office said Ukrainians are now the largest single demographic group visiting Sharm El Sheikh. Earlier this month, operators had been pushing for more incentives to be able to meet that target. The full recovery of the industry, however, will still hinge on Russia and the UK restarting flights.
Elsewhere, Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed has suspended the issuance of licenses for new tour companies and travel agencies for one year, saying the country currently does not need any new tour operators, Al Borsa reports.