Germany announced that the country lifted its 2014 travel ban that forbade Germans from visiting the eastern Sinai town of Taba for five years.
As a result of rising security concerns, many European countries restricted their flights to the Red Sea resort destination, Sharm El Sheikh, and other parts of Egypt. These concerns were brought forth in 2015 after the Russian jet bomb incident that killed 224 on-board tourists and vacationers.
Badr Abdel-Ati, Egypt’s Ambassador to Germany, revealed an amended travel guides created by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 28 June for Germans tourists interested in visiting the country.
This is said to increase the number of German tourists in the Sinai district stressing that this decision reflects the stability and security of Egypt. The Egyptian Embassy based in Berlin worked to increase the number of direct flights flying over to Sharm el-Sheikh.
“The German decision will greatly contribute to increasing the number of German tourists, especially those flocking to tourist destinations in South Sinai,” the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat told MENA news agency on Saturday..
Following the 25 January 2011 revolution, the Egyptian economy had suffered and the rate of tourists influx significantly dropped due to the political unrest and terror attacks that hit the country. The crash of a Russian plane in October 2015 shortly after it had taken off from Sharm al-Sheikh airport further exacerbated the problem, leading to a sharp decrease in the number of tourists in 2016.
However, relevant progress in the revenues and the number of tourists have been noted in recent months with strong efforts made both the public and private sectors.
As a results of these efforts, City Travel and Tourism Impact Report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council in October 2018 announced that 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.
Additionally, Egypt floated its currency in November 2o16 against all the foreign countries, a measure that attracted even more tourists to the Red Sea resorts and all the tourist attractions in Egypt due to the relatively cheap prices and the increased competitiveness in the sector.
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.
At the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) last September, British member of parliament Stephen Timms encouraged the UK to lift its travel ban that is imposed on Sharm El Sheikh preventing direct flights from arriving to Sharm El Sheikh Airport.
*Cover photo credit: Travco Egypt