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Sunday, 20 December 2020

It’s best not to look at this year’s tourism figures

Egypt is set to close out the year with only 3 mn tourist arrivals — just 23% of the record 13 mn who visited the country last year, Deputy Tourism Minister Ghada Shalabi told Sky News on Thursday (watch, runtime: 2:21). The country’s tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic after the flight suspension in the second quarter all but shuttered the industry and concerns about the virus weighing on arrivals in the second half of the year.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Shalabi said that we could see a return to pre-pandemic revenues in 2022. Tourism revenues last year reached USD 1 bn per month and accounted for 15% of GDP. Colliers has also predicted a rebound next year, seeing hotel occupancy rates rising by 88% in Hurghada, and 78% in Sharm El Sheikh.

A second wave of pain: Hotel occupancy rates in the popular resort town of Marsa Alam are now at 5% following the emergence of a second wave of the pandemic, said the head of the Marsa Alam Investors Association, Tarek Shalaby, Al Mal reports. He doesn’t expect to see a rebound before March of next year as vaccines are rolled out.

A “Go Local” winter break drive: The Tourism Ministry has launched an initiative titled "Enjoy Your Winter Break in Egypt," offering discounts on flights and hotel rooms, in a bid to boost domestic tourism this winter season, a ministry statement said on Friday.

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