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Monday, 8 February 2021

Tourism could face a three-year slog back to normality

Egypt’s tourism sector could be three years away from mounting a full recovery, according to Elhamy El Zayat, former chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, who told the local press that we’re unlikely to see pre-pandemic levels of tourism before 2024. Lingering concerns over the pandemic will mean that people remain sceptical of international travel for another few years, despite the acceleration of the global vaccine rollout, he said.

Let’s hope he’s wrong: The country’s tourism sector experienced one of its worst years in living memory last year, as disruptions to international travel and worries about the pandemic caused revenues to nosedive more than 75% to just USD 4 bn. Some 3.6 mn tourists visited Egypt, down from 13 mn the year before, sending hotel occupancy in four of Egypt’s biggest tourist destinations down 60% — and seeing the country to lose out on some USD 14 bn in foreign currency revenue in the process.

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