There is no doubt that last winter, cruises on the Nile had generated new and high interest.
In the first quarter of 2018, tourism generated $2.2 billion, almost twice the income of 2017. But tourism has not yet become once again the driving force of the Egyptian economy dreamed by its promoters.
Egypt’s return into the interest of the tourists was confirmed this summer, with particularly sharp increases in the number of visitors on the shores of the Red Sea, which saw an influx of people on its sunny beaches.
Egypt has come a long way. Great insecurity accompanied its political chaos. It had scared away the tourists. Since taking power, President al-Sissi has made it a priority task to restore security, even if it means using methods that are at the very least authoritarian. Although people think of the unorthodox methods used, the measures taken have helped to bring tourists back with some security.
The 50% devaluation of the Egyptian currency, which led to a significant drop in the cost of a stay in Egypt, has, of course, also contributed to the relative recovery of tourism. Prices will probably go up.
Moreover, the number of flights to Egypt has collapsed, and airlines have all, and quite logically, reduced the number of their flights. It is now necessary to increase the number of rotations again. It is a challenge to be taken up to receive more visitors.
Tourism in the Red Sea is, as we have seen, the first to start again, followed by the Nile Valley, resulting in the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. It was a crucial issue for the government, which wanted to raise fuel subsidies. This test still needs to be transformed.
Currently, Egypt’s main foreign customers are Germans, followed by Ukrainians, Italians, Chinese and Americans, followed by Saudis and Kuwaitis.
The Egyptians hope to see the French finally return to Egypt in large numbers, and not only to the Nile Valley, which is a favorite of cultural tourism enthusiasts, but also to the Russians who have deserted since all 224 occupants of an Airbus A321 over the Sinai, most of whom were Russian tourists, were killed in an attack in 2015. An attack immediately claimed by Daech.
And tourism in the footsteps of the Holy Family, whose development Egypt regularly mentions? The Egyptians are working on it. Itineraries have been drawn up, places of reception are already ready, especially in Cairo. But they still have to work, invest.
If the millions of tourists who have left the country return, the Egyptians will be more than overwhelmed and more than delighted.