Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Egyptian tourism drops 24%

From Al Masry al Youm English (now renamed Egypt Independent):
Tourism in Egypt was down almost 24 percent for the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, a government report released Wednesday said.

About 2.8 million tourists visited Egypt between July and September, down from 3.6 million during the same quarter in 2010, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics report.

Not surprisingly, unrest that has been ongoing since January harmed tourism during this period, the report said.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe decreased the most, followed by those from the Middle East, dropping 33.1 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively.

Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has said reinvigorating tourism depends on the country's ability to restore calm to the streets.

Tourism contributes 13.5 percent of Egypt's domestic product, employs 4 million people and is the largest source of national income, according to government figures.

Abdel Nour also said that Egypt's beaches draw 83 percent of the country's tourist activity.
If the Islamists start regulating bikinis and alcohol, that might be enough by itself to destroy Egypt's economy.