Arab tourism in good shape

The number of Saudi tourists visiting Egypt has increased remarkably for the second year in a row.

This increase has been accompanied by a noticeable rise in the number of other Arab and foreign tourists visiting the country, despite the political turmoil the country has been going through for months. In a statement published recently in the Saudi-based daily newspaper Al-Watan, Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou confirmed that the number of Arab and foreign tourists visiting Egypt has increased tangibly this year.

The number of Saudi tourists flowing into Egypt has reached about 1.27 million, up from 855,000 in 2011.

Zaazou added that the total number of Arab tourists to Egypt has risen by one-third to 2.4 million from 1.8 million in 2011.  He explained that the total number of tourists visiting Egypt this year has hit about 10.5 million, compared to 8.3 million the previous year.

Zaazou stressed that the Ministry of Tourism is working around the clock to reinvigorate and develop the tourism industry, coming up with a package of measures to restore the number of visitors to the level of the good old days.  He pointed out that, in the wake of the chaos and continuous disputes nationwide since November, occupancy rates at tourist outlets have slipped by about 25 per cent.

Zaazou said that the only solution for tourism to bounce back to its normal levels is for security and stability to return to the streets.

He added that more propaganda campaigns for Egyptian tourist destinations are also necessary, as well as attracting new investments and facilitating entry visas for tourists. The Minister of Tourism affirmed that visitors from more than ten countries can now obtain their visas on arrival in Egypt.

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