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Marketing a Revolution
A global destination advertising campaign for Egypt is due to launch while Tourism Ministry works on lifting travel bans and pressing for charter fee cuts.
April 10, 2011 3:23 by Reuters
Egypt’s vital tourism industry, crippled by political turmoil, will suffer a 25 percent drop in revenue in 2011 and will need until September to get back on track, the tourism minister said in an interview on Thursday.
An 18-day popular uprising that forced out President Hosni Mubarak saw much of Egypt’s economy grind to a halt and slashed tourism revenue for February by more than half.
March figures fell by 60 percent from last year, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said.
With its pharaonic antiquities and year-round warm beaches, Egypt relies on tourism as its top foreign currency earner, source of over a tenth of gross domestic product. It provides one in eight jobs in a country beset by high unemployment.
“Our revenues of 2010 were $12.5 billion, we should be 25 percent below that in 2011,” Abdel Nour told Reuters, but said it could be pushed even lower.
“Egypt is in transition, at the end of the day, and any transition path could be bumpy,” he said.
The turmoil that scared tourists away and prompted overseas warnings against visiting Egypt has abated. Tourists are dribbling back and most of the warnings have been lifted.
But hotel occupancy rates in the key Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, remain below 40 percent, Abdel Nour said.