Number of tourism arrivals in January has increased by 5.5% compared to the corresponding month in 2014, registering 677,000 arrivals up from 642,000 arrivals last year, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported on Wednesday.
The government plans to increase tourism sector investments in 2015 by offering land parcels through the General Authority for Tourism Development (GATD). Tourism investment over the past four years fell by 75%, compared to the period before 25 January 2011. The authority plans to raise five projects for integrated development during the Economic Summit, with investments worth EGP 5.2bn, according to a GATD official.
The projects are considered an exploration process of the real estate investment market, the official said, adding that large areas were offered by the authority over the past four years. The land area exceeds 18m sqm, although no one has applied yet, but when lands were offered in Ain Sokhna, the demand was great.
According to former minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou, Egypt is targeting 20% growth in tourist numbers this year, rather than 10 million tourists. The sector’s income was $7.5bn in 2014, with a growth of $1.6bn compared to 2013.
Before the 30 June 2013 protests leading to the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, tourist arrival numbers were up 16.4% year-on-year in June, according to CAPMAS that reported that the total number of tourists visiting Egypt in June reached 988,573, up from around 850,000 in the corresponding month in 2012.
Following the protests, Egypt’s security situation weakened, leading many international travel firms to halt selling holiday packages to the country. Several European governments, including Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Sweden and Italy, imposed travel alerts for Egypt, fearing the violence after the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares in August of the same year.