Research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that the Egyptian economy will face daily losses of more than EGP 31m if it stayed on the UK’s travel “red list”.
Based on 2019 levels, this situation will pose a significant threat to the nation’s struggling tourism sector and overall economy, according to WTTC.
According to pre-pandemic figures, UK visitors represented 5% of all arrivals in 2019.
The UK was also the third biggest source market for Egypt, following Germany and Saudi Arabia.
The global tourism body said Egypt was put on that list due to fears of the additional costs that the English citizens would bear at hotel quarantine for 10 days when they return to the UK, besides the expensive COVID-19 tests.
Egypt’s economy could face a drain of more than EGP 237m weekly, and more than EGP 1bn every month.
Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO WTTC, said: “Every day Egypt stays on the UK’s ‘red list’, the country’s economy loses millions just from the lack of UK visitors alone. This policy is incredibly restrictive and damaging as travellers from Egypt also face mandatory hotel quarantine at a huge cost.”
“The UK’s government decision to add Egypt to its ‘red list’ has a massive impact not only on the nation’s economy, but also the many thousands of ordinary Egyptians who rely upon a thriving tourism sector for their livelihoods. The UK’s vaccine rollout has proved incredibly successful with more than three quarters of the adult population double jabbed, and 59% of the total population fully vaccinated. The likelihood is that anyone travelling to Egypt would be fully inoculated and therefore pose minor risk,” she added.
“Our data shows just how important tourism is to the country, and how critical it is for the Egyptian government to ramp up the vaccination rollout if it is to have any chance of recovering this vital sector, which is fundamental to the country’s economic recovery,” Messina stated.
WTTC research showed the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on the Egyptian Travel & Tourism sector, with its contribution to the GDP falling from EGP 505bn (8.8%) in 2019, to just EGP 227.5bn (3.8%) in 2020.
The report also showed that in 2020, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, 844,000 tourism jobs were lost across the country.