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Tourist arrival rates declined 28.9% in January: CAPMAS


Tourists spent around 8,888,058 nights during January, statistics agency says

A picture taken on February 18, 2 014 shows an empty beach  cafe at Naama Bay in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on February 18, 2014. The decline in tourism since the fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has hobbled Egypt's economy .  (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

A picture taken on February 18, 2 014 shows an empty beach cafe at Naama Bay in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on February 18, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Tourist arrival rates registered a 28.9% year on year drop in January to 642,197, down from 903,445 in January 2013, according to a monthly report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

In January 2012 the number of tourists visiting Egypt was 820,060, 20% higher than the January 2014. The number of tourists in January 2010 and 2011 was 1,054,400 and 1,147,962, respectively.

CAPMAS indicated that the number of nights spent in January declined by 35.5% to reach 8,888,058 nights, compared to the preceding year’s 13,779,081 nights.

Europeans, who comprised 64.4% of the visiting tourists, spent around 5,723,094 of those nights, while Arab tourists, accounted for 28.7%, spent around 2,546,846 nights. American tourists, around 2.6% of the total visiting tourists, spent 233,350 nights.

Tourism rates decreased 24.5% year on year in July. This deterioration in the number of visiting tourists increased significantly in August to register a 45.6% decline and peaked in September with 69.7% drop.

Earlier in February, a bus explosion in Taba left three Korean tourists dead as well as the Egyptian bus driver. Following the attack, which was carried out by militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, several European countries issued travel warning against travel to Sharm-El-Sheikh and Sinai.

On the ministry’s expectation for the tourism arrival rates in February, Ministry of Tourism spokeswoman Rasha El-Azazzi said the ministry could not provide “specific expectations”.

“What I can say is that as long as the security situation is tightened and stepped-up, we can expect to witness improvement,” El-Azazzi added.

In his latest efforts to support Egyptian tourism, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou headed to the International Tourism Bourse fair, held on 4 March in Berlin, to address the image of the security situation in Egypt and encourage tourists to return.

Last week, Al-Borsa reported that the Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourism Authority teamed up and sent 200 Chinese tourists on a safari trip to the Giza pyramids and Bahariya oasis. The Chinese tourists will also visit the Black Desert, the White Desert and the Crystal Mountain in Farafra oasis before heading to Kharga oasis and then Luxor and Hurghada.

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