News

Italian Tourism in Egypt to Drop 90% During Summer Season: Egyptian Tourism Authority

Italian Tourism in Egypt to Drop 90% During Summer Season: Egyptian Tourism Authority

People enjoy the beach at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the South Sinai governorate. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
People enjoy the beach at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the South Sinai governorate. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Italian tourism bookings to Egypt during the upcoming summer season have dropped by 90 percent in comparison to last year, according to the head of Foreign Tourism at the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) Mohamed Abdel Gabbar.

According to Abdel Gabbar, the ETA has cooperated with Italian travel agency Meridana to arrange a weekly flight from Milan to Sharm El Sheikh for EUR 112 per ticket starting from March, in addition to direct flights to Cairo for EUR 240 per ticket in May.

The number of Italians in Egypt had reached 1 million tourists in 2010, with the majority of them visiting the Red Sea resort towns of Sharm El Sheikh and Marsa Alam.

Meanwhile, the chief tax collector in Egypt’s Red Sea governorate told privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm that tourism-related tax revenues have dropped 80 percent in the governorate in the wake of the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Sinai last October.

Tourism was once the flagship of Egypt’s economy but a string of security-related events, including the “accidental” killing of 12 Mexican tourists and their Egyptian guides in the Western Desert in September 2015, as well as the downing of the Russian plane, have significantly affected the flow of tourists in Egypt.

Most recently, Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni was found dead on the Cairo-Alexandria highway on the outskirts of Cairo, after “mysteriously disappearing” nine days earlier. Egyptian and Italian autopsies on the students body have shown signs of torture.

Egyptian authorities are currently investigating the 28-year-old’s death but officials have remained tight-lipped about developments in the case.

Last year, Egypt’s Tourism Ministry announced the signing of a USD 66 million contract with advertising agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT) to launch a campaign encouraging tourists to visit Egypt.

However, the ETA has decided to suspend the campaign in Italy for one month, pending the results of the investigation into Regeni’s killing, Al Borsa reported.

Approximately four million Egyptians work in the tourism sector, which accounts for 12.6 percent of the country’s total employment and about 12 percent of the economy.

The drop in tourism revenues is also one of the main factors contributing to the country’s current foreign currency crisis. Since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, foreign reserves have gone down more than 50 percent, from USD 36 billion to USD 16.477 billion as of last month.

Expansion of Sharm El-Sheikh Airport Suspended as Egypt Tourism Wanes
Egypt 'Cancels' Visit from Israeli PM, Israel Claims No Visit Planned

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Number of Minya Microbus Crash Victims Soars to 5, 16 Injured

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 17, 2020

Come June, King Tut Treasures To Be Exhibited in Boston

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 16, 2020

GERD Talks Yield Initial Agreement on Filling Plan

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 16, 2020

4 Egyptian Fishermen Rescued After Being Lost at Sea for a Week

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 14, 2020

Post-GERD Talks Gridlock, Ethiopian PM Asks South Africa for Intervention

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 13, 2020

Egypt Issues New Pet Ownership License Requirements

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 11, 2020

Iran Admits Shooting Down Ukrainian Passenger Plane ‘Unintentionally’

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 11, 2020

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Dies Aged 79: Oman Media

Egyptian StreetsJanuary 11, 2020