Egypt has the potential to be the world leader in tourism attraction, according to Oumnia Boualam country director for Egypt at Oxford Business Group (OBG).
Boualam told Daily News Egypt that the tourism industry’s target should be at least 60 million tourists in the coming 10 years.
She noted that the country can achieve that through tourism promotion abroad, adding that this is what OBG does.
“We promote Egypt’s economy and investments to open more opportunities for people to visit Egypt,” she elaborated. “We seek to have joint efforts with the Egypt Tourism Authority to promote the brand of Egypt.”
She revealed that OBG will have future cooperation and partnerships with the Ministry of Tourism to promote the country’s vacation industry, as OBG has worked with many tourism authorities around the world.
The OBG report regarding Egypt in 2018 said that despite the 44.3% decline in sector revenues in 2016, the industry showed initial signs of recovery in the final quarter of 2016, with revenues increasing 9% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $826m.
The report mentioned that in terms of full-year estimates for 2017, the World Travel and Tourism Council predicted that the sector’s direct contribution to GDP would rise by 2.5%. Total employment in the country for the same year was predicted to fall by 7% from 2016 levels.
The report noted that in the first seven months of 2017, tourism revenues increased by 170% y-o-y to $3.5bn, which exceeded the full-year figure of $3.4bn in 2016.
In 2017, about 8.3 million tourists visited Egypt. Meanwhile, in 2016, 2 million Arab tourists visited Egypt, representing almost 40% of foreign visitors to the country. Meanwhile, in the first five months of 2017, the number of Chinese visitors to Egypt increased by 94% y-o-y, according to the report.
“As of July 2017, Saudi investments in tourism projects in Egypt totalled $266.6m. Tourism investments account for 11.9%, or $4.6bn, of the total investments into the country. This figure was expected to increase by 8.4% in 2017 and at a rate of 6.4% per year over the next decade,” the report read. “The Egyptian hotel industry appears to have turned a corner in 2017, bolstered by both foreign visitors and domestic tourists. As of mid-2017, there were 53 hotels under construction.”
The report noted that the average stay for tourists in Egypt is around 10 days, similar to most southern European markets, such as Spain, Greece, and Turkey.
However, Egypt could further emphasise two key areas to expand the average stay of tourists. The first is the development of managed serviced apartments to better position the country for the long family holiday segment of tourists. In addition, Egypt should do more work on combining holiday destinations, bridging cultural tourism, and beach tourism.
In December 2016, the Central Bank of Egypt announced the establishment of a EGP 55bn ($329.4m) fund to support tourism investment.
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