Surging tourist arrivals in Egypt boosted occupancy rates in Cairo’s hospitality sector last year, according to a new report by JLL released on Monday.

Rising eight times higher than the global tourism rate, the number of visitor arrivals in Egypt increased annually by nearly 36% to 13.9 million during the first ten months of 2023.

October 2023 alone attracted 1.3 million tourists, the second highest in Egypt since October 2010.

The surge in visitor traffic led to an increase in demand for various accommodations in Cairo, with occupancy rates rising to 70% during the year to November 2023, reflecting an annual increase of around 100 basis points, JLL noted.

“The rapidly growing tourist demand and increased spending on leisure and tourism infrastructure once again reaffirms the strong position of the hospitality market in Egypt, which is expected to continue to grow in the years ahead,” said Ayman Sami, Country Head, JLL Egypt.

“Tourism is a key pillar of Egypt’s economy, and the announcement of numerous new projects in Cairo and other prominent Egyptian cities throughout 2023 is further fuelling the sturdy growth of the hospitality sector and leading to an upward momentum across other real estate segments.”

Last year, Cairo’s hotel stock grew by an additional 250 keys, with the opening of Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria Heliopolis hotel in the fourth quarter of the year. The additional stock brought the total hotel inventory to around 28,000 keys.

Tourism accounts for 15% of the gross national product (GNP) in Egypt.

Egypt is looking to double the number of visitors to 30 million by 2028, the country’s top tourism official told AP late last year.

“We’re seeing unparalleled demand, unprecedented demand for travel into Egypt,” said Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)