According to a press statement released by the Egyptian Cabinet on social media, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Eissa divulged that Egypt saw a record-breaking number of incoming tourists in 2023 since 2010, reaching 14.906 million.
The surge was announced during a weekly Cabinet meeting, presided by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on 17 January.
The last quarter of 2023 saw the greatest number of inbound tourists, recording 3.6 million to the country, despite challenges witnessed in the Middle Eastern region, particularly the ongoing conflict between neighboring countries Palestine and Israel since October 2023.
Nonetheless, despite the record-breaking statistic which constitutes an 8 percent increase compared to the same quarter of last year, the Minister noted a decrease of 600, 000 tourists from the anticipated goal, due to the conflict in Gaza.
According to the Cabinet’s statement, this surge in the increase of tourists can be attributed to several factors. Eissa has highlighted governmental efforts to supplement new tourist destinations and activities for those visiting Egypt, facilitate obtaining tourist visas, and increase air transport capacity services.
Tourism is a pivotal sector contributing to Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP), and economy. Following exports and the remittances from Egyptians employed outside the country, the tourist industry is the third-largest source of foreign income. Recognizing this, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has amplified its efforts to revitalize its tourism and travel industry, which suffered significantly following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ukraine-Russia war.
Notable openings and conservation efforts to highlight are the re-opening of the Ben Ezra synagogue, the Imhotep Museum, and the Greco-Roman museum in Alexandria following renovation and conservation work, the operation of the Sphinx International Airport, as well as the gradual opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Moreover, from the Citadel in Cairo to Luxor and Karnak temples, the Ministry has been implementing ‘cash-less’ e-payment services to over 120 archaeological and historical sites, in the hopes of generating a return on foreign currency (USD) into the Egyptian banking sector and increases the flow of foreign currency, which the country has been facing a shortage of.
Egypt saw 11.7 million tourists in 2022 with an expected increase of 28 percent in 2023.