Egypt's tourism continues decline

Tourist numbers in June drop over 20 per cent since last year

The numbers of tourists visiting Egypt in June has fallen over 20 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the country's tourism ministry.

More than 785,000 foreign tourists spent 6.8 million over-night stays in Egypt last month compared to over 988,000 visitors spending almost eight million nights in June last year.

The figures show that Egypt welcomed 4.4 million tourists in the first six months of 2014, a 25 per cent drop from the same period in 2013. The majority of tourists holidaying in Egypt in the first half of this year came from Europe (3.4 million), followed by over half a million from the Middle East.

The decline in tourism comes despite many European countries lifting travel bans on Egypt following the relative stability since the recent installation of new president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt's tourism trade has been seriously affected by the political and social unrest since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. However the tourism ministry is pushing to revive the flagging sector by introducing concrete steps such as postponing all electricity bills from tourist establishments until 2015 and dropping any related fines.

The ministry is also courting new big-spending markets such as India and China, with EgyptAir recently launching direct flights between Cairo and New Delhi.