Given Egypt’s cultural and archaeological heritage, tourism has long been a leading source of national income. At its peak in 2010, the sector employed approximately 12% of the country’s workforce serving about 14+ million visitors, and generated more than $12 billion in revenues. Tourism contributed 11%+ of GDP and some 14% of foreign currency revenues.
Since the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the country’s travel and tourism sector has faced considerable challenges. While domestic tourism has performed reasonably well, the pressure caused by the virtual absence of foreign tourists translated into annual declines in tourism revenues from the 2010 peak through 2016.
In response to the security concerns associated with political and social unrest, the Egyptian government has made demonstrable efforts to increase security measures at all airports and improve road infrastructure country-wide, easing transportation as well as making it safer for tourists. And most recently, in the context of developing an international tourism strategy, the Egyptian Tourist Authority has engaged in partnership with CNN to launch what has been an award-winning promotional campaign.
Consensus expectations are for improvement in the outlook for tourism. Ministry of Tourism statistics have substantiated this with a report that during the first nine months of 2017, Egypt’s tourism revenues surged over 200% to $5.3 billion compared with $1.7 billion a year ago and 2016’s annual $3.8 billion. While the number of tourists who visited the country rose 55% in the year-to-date through September, their spending rose significantly more.
Given Egypt’s wealth of ancient treasures and favorable climate, Sky believes that tourism will indeed recover in due course and has made an early investment in the sector. With Cairo Transport and Touring (CTT), Sky is positioned with a fully-licensed Class A travel agency with an upscale image and long-standing reputation for superior customer service.