Egypt Q1 tourist arrivals up 32 pct

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CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt rose 32 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period of 2011 when the sector plunged because of Egypt’s revolution, officials said on Thursday.

A total of 2.5 million tourists arrived in Egypt between January and March, compared with 1.89 million a year earlier, the tourism authority said.

The biggest rise was in people coming from other Arab countries, whose numbers increased by 63 percent.

Despite the recovery from last year, the first-quarter figures were a sharp 27.8 percent lower than registered in the same period of 2010.

Tourism in Egypt, home to Pharaonic sites and Red Sea resorts with pristine beaches and coral reefs that attract divers from around the world, is a key money earner and source of foreign currency along with Suez Canal earnings.



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