Tourism is one of the leading sources of income for the economy of Egypt each year. When a record $12.5 billion was generated in 2010, about 12% of the workforce in the country was employed to serve almost 15 million visitors. In that record year, tourism was 11% of the GDP and over 14% of foreign currency revenues.
That’s a big change from 1951, when just 100,000 people visited the country. To make it easier to see the country’s cultural attractions, visa restrictions were eased in 1975 for most European and North American countries.
In 2007, the Egyptian tourism industry accounted for 19.5% of the country’s GDP.
In recent years, acts of terrorism have had a dramatic impact on the number of tourists visiting Egypt. With a travel ban placed on Russian visitors because of an airplane that was downed over the Sinai Peninsula in 2015, which killed 224 people, along with other acts of violence, tourist visits dropped from 9.3 million in 2015 to 5.4 million in 2016.
The total number of nights dropped as well, from 84.1 million in 2015 to 37.2 million in 2016.
Times have been uncertain. As the statistics for the Egyptian tourism industry show, however, tourists are becoming more confident in what the country is able to provide.
Interesting Egyptian Tourism Industry Statistics
#1. In 2017, the total value of the tourism industry in Egypt was valued at $7.6 billion, which was an increase of 123.5% over figures from the year before. (Egypt Today)
#2. More than 8.3 million people visited Egypt in 2017 as a tourist, a figure that was 54% higher than 2016 tourism numbers. (Egypt Today)
#3. Tourists from Germany tend to be the most generous when visiting Egypt. In 2017, German visitors represented 35% of the total incoming tourists each month. (Tourism Review News)
#4. 70% of the tourist arrivals in Egypt come from Europe. Another 26% of arrivals originate from other Arab nations within the region. (Tourism Review News)
#5. In February 2018, Egypt received 730,000 tourists. That was a 35% increase in visits when compared to 2017 figures from the same month. (Egypt Independent)
#6. January 2018 figures were equally high, with over 712,000 tourists coming to the country. Western Europeans were responsible for 220,000 of those visits, which was a 47% increase over figures released from January 2017. (Egypt Independent)
#7. In the first part of 2018, visits from Eastern European countries increased by 55% from 2017 numbers, with a total number reaching more than 183,000 tourists. (Egypt Independent)
#8. In 2016, the Egyptian tourism industry contributed just 3.2% to the GDP and was just 2.9% of national employment. Even with indirect contributions included, the industry achieved just 7.2% of GDP. (World Travel and Tourism Council)
#9. The average daily rate of hotels in Cairo fell by 19% between May 2016 and May 2017, to an average of just $86 per night. In comparison, the average daily rate of a hotel in the Middle East over the same period was $169.97. (Oxford Business Group)
#10. Hotel reservations in 2017 totaled 84 million, which would be a 155% increase from the low 2016 figures. That represents a partial recovery from the 2015 nights booked in the country by tourists. (Oxford Business Group)
#11. In 2015, visitors from Russian accounted for almost 68% of the foreign visitors that Egypt received in the tourism industry. In 2016, that figure fell to 13%. (Oxford Business Group)
#12. German bookings for the summer of 2017 rose by 91%, although that figure still placed total tourism visits 23% below the numbers experienced before 2010. (Oxford Business Group)
#13. In 2016, 2 million Arab tourists visited Egypt, which represented about 40% of foreign tourists coming to see the country. Visitors from Arab countries spend about $110 per night during their stay, whereas other foreign visitors spend about $70 per night. (Oxford Business Group)
#14. A 50% rise in tourists from India is expected in coming years. By 2019, Egypt hopes to see about 400,000 tourists from India, which would make it a top 10 source market for the tourism industry. (Oxford Business Group)
#15. The number of tourists coming from China to see Egypt rose from 65,000 visitors in 2014 to more than 200,000 visitors in 2016. (Oxford Business Group)
#16. There are currently 545 tourist companies benefitting from domestic discounts at major tourism sites within the country. Citizens of Egypt can receive a subsidy of about $30 when visited Sharm El Sheikh and a $46 subsidy for other destinations. (Oxford Business Group)
#17. About 80,000 Egyptians have taken advantage of the domestic promotions to encourage tourism from within the country since 2016. (Oxford Business Group)
#18. Tourism investment accounts for more than $4.6 billion of total investment within Egypt, which is about 12% of all total investment. By 2027, tourism investment is expected to reach $6.2 billion per year. (Oxford Business Group)
#19. In 2017, the number of visitors sourced from Africa increased by 51%. (Daily News Egypt)
Egyptian Tourism Industry Trends and Analysis
With is cultural wonders, ancient artifacts, and natural attractions, Egypt will continue to be a top tourism destination for visitors all over the world in years to come. Forecasting the health of this industry in the next 5- to 10-year period is virtually impossible to do, with high levels of instability in the government creating uncertainty for tourists.
There is also the ongoing threat of possible terrorism that the Egyptian government faces to help the tourism industry recovery. In 2017, there were 5 terrorism attacks, including church bombings on Palm Sunday and an attack at a Sinai mosque.
If the violence can be brought under control, then tourism numbers will continue to rebound. Should the government find a way to offer more stability to the country, the recovery will likely see a slow restoration to the record numbers of incoming visitors seen in 2010.
Britain once again allowing flights to Egypt, which has not been allowed since November 2015, is another encouraging sign for the Egyptian tourism industry.
And if these issues are not brought under control, then expect a slow decline in the number of tourists deciding to visit Egypt each year, along with the number of nights they decide to stay if they do come for a visit.