Fall in number of visitors taking Egypt holidays in 2009
Recent figures have shown that fewer travellers took Egypt holidays in the months up to November this year than in 2008 but there was a significant increase in travellers visiting the historic country during the month of November itself.
The amount of revenue generated by travellers taking Egypt holidays in the first 11 months of 2009 fell 3.1 percent compared to the same period last year but tourism officials were expecting a much higher number.
This was thanks to the amount of visitors from Europe taking holidays in Egypt in the months leading up to November, and though tourism officials were disappointed by the overall decrease in revenue, they were relieved that it was not as bad as they had originally foreseen.
Egypt relies on tourism revenue for its economy, particularly as the industry provides foreign currency and a large number of jobs within Egypt hotels and resorts, diving excursions, and tours of the country's historical sites and attractions. Sharm El Sheikh holidays are becoming increasingly popular with tourists mainly due to the area's fantastic diving and snorkelling spots.
During the months up to November this year, approximately 11.45 million visitors took Egypt holidays according to the spokeswoman of Tourism Ministry, Omayma El Husseini, which was down 3.4 percent on the visitor numbers from 2008.
She said: "The figure is a negative figure at the end of the day," she told Reuters. "But we're at almost 11.5 million tourists now, which I think is very good."
Husseini added that November saw 1.23 million visitors taking Egypt holidays this year, which was a 7.3 percent increase from November 2008. This was due to the increase in visitors from the UK, Russia and Germany.
An analyst from EFG Hermes, Daniyah Darwish, said:
"Tourism in Egypt proved to be more resilient than expected. Tourists are staying for shorter periods and spending less ... but they are still coming."
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