According to the latest City Travel and Tourism Impact Report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Cairo tops the list for the fastest growing cities in travel and tourism activity, constituting 34% of the country’s GDP in 2017.
The report explains that this rapid growth was achieved after a recovery from a long period of decline following the Arab Spring and frequent terror attacks, including the Russian Metrojet plane crash in 2015.
However, while tourism is on the rise, the report adds that “it remains well below its 2010 peak,” when an estimated number of 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt and generated 12.5 billion USD in revenue.
Meanwhile, Macau in China came second, with a 14.2% spike in tourism GDP activity, followed by Istanbul in Turkey, which experienced a 13.2% growth in the sector.
The report highlights that cities have now become major drivers for travel and tourism activity, and that according to the Oxford Economics’ Global City Travel (GCT), travel destinations to the most popular cities accounts for over half a billion trips per year.
It also adds that cities are now “global economic hubs” and play an important role in increasing economic growth for a nation as a whole, noting the importance of the tourism sector in contributing to the growth of the GDP.
The tourism sector in Egypt faced a huge setback following the January 2011 revolution, seeing a 37 percent decline in visitors.
However, things started to take a positive turn as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation reported in 2017 that Egypt is the second fastest growing destination in the world.
Currently, the government is taking several measures to boost the tourism sector, from attempts to eliminate terrorism in the Sinai Offensive launched this year and announcing new projects, such as the new administrative capital and the grand new Egyptian museum expected to open in early 2019.