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Tourism numbers in May up 14.6% from last year

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Low accommodation provides draw for foreign visitors

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics reported that approximately one million tourists visited Egypt during the month of May in its monthly bulletin, a 14.6% increase compared to last year. (AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics reported that approximately one million tourists visited Egypt during the month of May in its monthly bulletin, a 14.6% increase compared to last year.
(AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics reported that approximately one million tourists visited Egypt during the month of May in its monthly bulletin, a 14.6% increase compared to last year.

Elhamy El-Zayat, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, said: “it is true the number of tourists visiting Egypt increased, however, the rate of daily expenditure of these tourists decreased significantly,” citing low accommodations cost as the main reason.

El-Zayat explained that the daily rate of expenditure, including the alcoholic beverages, ranged between $12 and $15 per day. This number is considerably low, he added, but its acceptance is a necessity. “Hotels accept these rates because they need to pay the labour working in this sector.”

The deputy head for chamber of hotels, Hani Al-Saher, stated that this increase was expected because it is the high season for tourism, coinciding with the vacation season for schools.

He also confirmed that hotels have been actively promoting themselves to take advantage of the fact that “Egypt is the now the cheapest go to destination for any tourist.”

Al-Saher stated that the benchmark of success for tourism must be carefully calculated, citing the need to “compare it with how it was doing prior to the revolution. It might be higher than May 2012 but it’s surely less than May 2010,” he added.

The report showed that the number of tourists in May 2012 was 1.2 million.

Al-Saher mentioned that tourist numbers were concentrated in the Red Sea, and that many were “staying away from the South of Sinai due to their fears” of political unrest.

When asked about how the political situation is expected to affect the tourism, El-Zayat said that the turnout can’t be anticipated.

“We can’t really predict how tourism will be affected; it depends on whether or not we will witness violence in the next couple of days.”


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