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Tourism Minister expects to see 20 per cent increase in tourists taking Egypt Holidays in 2012

  • 12-Nov-12 11:06
  • Egypt
  • Opodo

The number of travellers taking Egypt holidays and business trips this year is expected to increase by 20 per cent according to Egypt's Tourism Minister. Hisham Zaazou said that hotels in the country have seen strong occupancy rates during the first nine months of the year and Egypt is expecting to receive 11.5m to 12m tourists by the end of the year.

Tourism Minister expects to see 20 per cent increase in tourists taking Egypt Holidays in 2012

Hisham Zaazou, Egypt’s Tourism Minister recently revealed that the country is expecting to see a 20 per cent increase in the number of visitors this year.

The minister said that by the end of December, 2012, he expects more than 11 million tourists will have taken Egypt holidays.

Egypt hotels in popular holiday destinations such as Sharm el Sheikh and Cairo have recorded strong occupancy levels this year and during the first nine months of 2012, a total of 8.8 million travellers visited the country despite the recent political upheaval and civil unrest.

Every year, millions of holidaymakers go on holidays to Egypt to take cruises up the River Nile and visit ancient temples such as the Temple of Karnak, Luxor Temple, and Valley of the Kings. The famous historic pyramids can be found in Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, and the largest Egyptian pyramid is the Pyramid of Khufu.

As well as offering historic attractions, Egypt has a collection of fantastic locations for scuba diving holidays, and coastal resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada are becoming increasingly popular because of the wide choice of excellent diving sites and warm, crystal clear ocean waters and scuba divers and snorkellers can swim alongside an array of stunning marine life in the Red Sea.

In February 2011, Egypt suffered political unrest and violent protests as civilians fought to bring down President Hosni Mubarak. Before the protests, tourism provide more than a tenth of Egypt’s gross domestic product and this has been affected by the decline in tourists booking holidays in Egypt over the last year.

Last month, the tourism minister assured tourists who are booking an Egypt holiday this winter that tourism industry would not be affected by the nation’s new Islamic-led administration.

"Our desire to introduce additional products that would suit certain Arab and Islamic market segments ... will not happen at the cost of our mainstream business," he told Reuters in an interview.

Last month, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister, Muhammad Ibrahim, announced that as many as six ancient tombs at the Giza site and the Pyramid of Chefren will be reopened after a ten-year-long restoration project to encourage travellers to visit the country once again.

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