The feat passed Egypt’s previous peak in tourism revenues from 2010.
As tourism currently takes a global hit due to the coronavirus crisis, the Central Bank of Egypt just released data showing that Egypt’s tourism revenues hit a record high in 2019, recording profits of more than $13.03 billion.
This is in comparison to the country’s previous peak in 2010, when it reached $12.5 billion. In 2018, former Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, implemented a Tourism Reform Programme, which is partially credited to this revenue hike in 2019. The programme saw the fruition of 80% of the objectives of the programme in one year. Those objectives included infrastructural developments and an increase in the tourism sector’s employment.
Egypt ended up achieving the fourth highest global growth in performance in the tourism and travel competitiveness index according to a World Economic Forum for Competitiveness report. In light of current circumstances, however, these numbers are expected to drop significantly in 2020 - not only in Egypt but around the world. According to the International Monetary Fund’s COVID-19 impacts tracker’s latest report, one of the main hits to Egypt’s economy will be due to declining travel and tourist activity, reduced worker remittances and capital outflows resulting from the pandemic.
With Egypt’s continued suspension of all flights until April 7th, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled El-Anani, recently noted that Egypt’s losses due to flight suspensions and airport closures could a mmount up to $1bn a month.
The very thin silver lining, however, is that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Council for Tourism and Travel forecasts that both Egyptian and global tourism will return to normal levels within 10 months of eliminating the coronavirus.