Egypt tourism revenues resilient in 2009 - minister

Egypt's tourism earnings may rise significantly in 2010, the tourism minister said on Monday.

Egypt tourism revenues resilient in 2009 - minister

Egypt's tourism earnings, a key source of foreign exchange, dipped just 2.1 percent last year thanks to an upswing in Russian and British arrivals and may rise significantly in 2010, the tourism minister said on Monday.

Tourism, which accounts for about 11 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product, was hit hard by the global economic crisis early in the year -- revenues were down 13.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009. However, officials and analysts gradually revised their outlooks up as the season progressed.

"We have seen proper signs of recovery. Since September we've been having constant growth," Zoheir Garrana said at a news conference in Cairo.

"We hope that 2010, though I still believe it will be a very difficult year, will have significant growth."

Tourists, attracted by Egypt's Red Sea resorts and pharaonic ruins, are a major source of foreign currency, alongside Suez Canal receipts, remittances from Egyptian expatriates and natural gas exports.

While early indicators suggested tourist arrivals and revenues would tumble as much as 20 percent, final figures showed a 2.1 percent drop in revenue to $10.8 billion and a 2.3 percent decline in arrivals, Garrana said.

About 12.5 million tourists visited Egypt in 2009, down from 12.8 million a year earlier, ministry figures showed.

"It was better than what I expected," Garrana told reporters when asked for his reaction to the 2009 numbers.

The financial crisis and the loss of jobs it caused in Egypt's main source markets, such as Britain and France, were the primary cause of the dip, followed by fears of the H1N1 virus, he said.

With many economies showing signs of recovery, Egypt aims to attract 14 million tourists and bring in revenues of $11.5 billion in 2010, he said.


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Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2010, 16:09
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