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Monday, 22 March 2021

Bank of America is pencilling in a recovery in tourism to Egypt for 2022

Revenues in Egypt’s tourism sector will hit USD 7 bn next year after having plunged in 2020, Bank of America (BofA) Global Research said in a recent report picked up by Zawya and Arab News. Revenues smashed records in 2019, taking USD 13 bn over the course of the year, but plummeted to just USD 1.1 bn in the second and third quarters of 2020 when global travel restrictions were at their peak, the bank said.

The sector is slowly recovering: Nearly 2 mn tourists visited Egypt since authorities first eased covid-19 restrictions last summer and reopened air space to commercial flights, Tourism Minister Khaled El Anany told reporters last week. The country saw between 270k and 290k tourist arrivals per month between December and February, and El Ananythinks that Egypt could see a return to pre-covid visitor numbers as early as fall 2022.

Someone tell the Russians we love them: The recovery will likely accelerate should Russia restore direct flights to Red Sea resorts, BofA said. Russians accounted for a third of tourist arrivals before Moscow suspended flights following the 2015 crash of a Metrojet plane in the Sinai peninsula.

Another cause for optimism: Egypt had developed a flourishing mass tourism industry before the pandemic battered the sector and can tap growing global demand for travel post-covid, the bank said in its report.

Big hopes for Dubai: The bank is also expecting the UAE, which had a strong tourism base pre-covid, to be among the largest beneficiaries of the global rebound in vacation demand. The country’s recent normalization agreement with Israel is another potential boom, with tourist arrivals from the neighbouring country reaching nearly 70k over the past two months.

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