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|29 August, 2018

Egypt's tourism revenue jumps 77% in first half: government official

Egyptian tourism has been gradually recovering from a 2011 downturn

Image used for illustrative pruposes. A general view of Saladin Citadel at the centre of downtown Cairo, Egypt, January 21, 2018.

Image used for illustrative pruposes. A general view of Saladin Citadel at the centre of downtown Cairo, Egypt, January 21, 2018.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO: Egypt's tourism revenue jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to around $4.8 billion compared with the same period last year, a government official told Reuters.

Egyptian tourism has been gradually recovering from a 2011 downturn triggered by the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, helped by a currency float in late 2016 that halved the pound's value and made the country a relatively cheap bet for foreign visitors.

The tourism sector is a pillar of the country's economy and a key earner of foreign currency.

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The official, who declined the be named, said visitor numbers during the first half of 2018 jumped 41 percent from a year before to about 5 million. A total of 14.7 million people visited Egypt in 2010 before the uprising.

"Indicators suggest the sector will earn about $9 billion by the end of this year," the official said, adding there were expectations of greater traffic from western Europe, Italy, Germany and Ukraine towards the end of the year.

That figure would mark a jump from last year's $7.6 billion.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Eric Knecht Editing by Alison Williams and David Holmes) ((Nadine.Awadalla@thomsonreuters.com;))