WTM 2019: Egypt reports highest-ever annual tourism revenue

Egyptian tourism has generated its highest-ever revenues in the last year despite a UK flight ban to one its key destinations, Sharm el-Sheikh.

Minister of tourism Rania Al-Mashat said the sector had recorded £9.91bn in revenue in 2018-19.

Global tourist arrivals reached 12 million this year, which she predicted would exceed a peak of 13.6 million in 2010.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted its restrictions on flights between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh on October 22 after four years.

Since then a number of operators have re-introduced the destination to their programmes, including Tui which put the destination on sale today (Monday).

“We’re very happy the ban has been lifted which is testament to the co-ordination between both the British and Egyptian governments,” Al-Mashat said.

She said the impact from the collapse of Thomas Cook was minimal for tourist industries in the country.

“We are lucky to some extent because the numbers coming were quite modest so they were picked up by other tour operators. So compared to other countries we weathered through that.”

Al-Mashat praised the UK embassy in Egypt which she said ensured Thomas Cook customers were taken care of in the immediate aftermath of the failure.

Meanwhile, the Grand Egyptian Museum is due to open in October in Cairo, which Al-Mashat said would “diversify” Egypt’s offering and attract customers seeking both sun and culture.

It will be the largest archaeological museum in the world and will house 100,000 antiquities, including Tutankhamun’s tomb.

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