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Egypt loses $720m in tourist income since coup

February 8, 2014 at 1:57 am

Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered losses estimated at $720 million since the military coup last month. Speaking to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Watan newspaper, the head of Egypt’s Federation of Chambers of Tourism, Dr Wlhami El-Zayat, said that the equivalent of 5 billion Egyptian pounds has been lost thanks to a decline in hotel bookings and package holidays. The number of tourists in July fell by around 37 per cent with many hotels in resorts such as Luxor and Aswan reporting just 15 per cent occupancy rates.

El-Zayat attributed the decline to the travel warnings issued by Western governments, particularly Russia, Britain and Germany, for their nationals not to travel to Egypt because of the deteriorating security situation and the continued anti-coup, pro-legitimacy demonstrations. His federation, he said, has been trying to calm international fears about the safety of tourists in Egypt through the offices of the Ministry of Tourism. He pointed out that prior to the coup tourism in the country was beginning to recover to its pre-revolution levels.

Egypt has welcomed around 6 million tourists since the beginning of 2013. The total revenue from tourism this year is estimated at $4.7 billion.