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Tourism to Egypt plummets by 40 per cent in 2016

File photo of a vendor awaiting tourists at his stall near the Madiner Habu complex, west of the tourist attractions at Luxor
File photo of a vendor awaiting tourists at his stall near the Madiner Habu complex, west of the tourist attractions at Luxor

The number of inbound tourists to Egypt has dropped by 40 per cent throughout 2016, the government’s Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) has announced.

CAPMAS said that tourists to Egypt fell to 4.8 million in 2016 compared to 8.1 million tourists during the same period in 2015.

The agency attributed the decline in the number of tourists to the decrease in the number of Russian tourists after a Russian aircraft crashed in October 2015, as well as to the decline in the number of tourists coming from Britain, Germany and Italy.

The Egyptian economy relies heavily on tourism to provide jobs and income but setbacks, including instability and insecurity caused by airplane crashes and terror attacks, have brought the vital sector to its knees.

Comparatively, more than 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt in 2010, a number which fell to 9.3 million in 2015.

According to the Egyptian Central Bank, tourism revenue fell between July and September last year by 56.1 per cent to reach $758.2 million compared to $1.7 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Egypt has been beset by turmoil since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi overthrew the first and only democratically elected leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013. Since then, rampant government corruption, nepotism and violence has led to a turbulent economy, pushing millions more below the poverty line.

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