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Sunday, 3 January 2021

Tourist arrivals plunge in pandemic year

The number of tourists to visit Egypt fell more than 70% y-o-y in 2020 to 3.6 mn, down from 13 mn in 2019, according to the Tourism Ministry’s annual newsletter. Tourism revenues plunged to USD 4 bn during the year, down from USD 13 bn in 2019, as average monthly receipts declined 85-92% due to covid. The majority of tourists (2.5 mn) visited the country in January and February before the pandemic ground the industry to a complete halt between March and July. Just 1.1 mn tourists visited the country in the second half of the year after authorities lifted travel restrictions.

In a parallel universe, tourism is booming: Tourist numbers were to have reached new record highs last year, possibly attracting some 15 mn people during the 12-month period. Then covid happened.

CORRECTION- An earlier version of this story listed the revenue figures in EGP, rather than USD.

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