Egypt eases hotel restrictions as it expects tourism to pick up

Egypt’s tourism revenues were between $3.5 billion to $4 billion during the first half of 2021.
Monday 05/07/2021
Tourists take a tour on an old market, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. (AFP)
Tourists take a tour on an old market, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. (AFP)

CAIRO – Egypt’s cabinet on Sunday eased guest limits for hotels as well as restaurants, cinemas and theatres to 70% of their capacity from 50 percent at present as coronavirus infections slow, a cabinet statement said.

Egypt has been gradually easing pandemic restrictions since June 1. Official figures showed 181 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Saturday, with 27 deaths from the disease.

Cairo hopes to see tourism activity pick up with the slowdown of the pandemic.

Egypt’s tourism revenues were between $3.5 billion to $4 billion during the first half of 2021 and the country received about 3.5 million tourists from January to June, said Ghada Shalaby, deputy minister of tourism.

The country’s revenues from the vital sector were about $4 billion in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, down by 70% from $13.03 billion in 2019.

“We are expecting that numbers of tourists will increase by 45% to 60% during the next period compared with last year,” Shalaby said.

The average spending of a tourist per night is about $95, she added.

Tourism revenue is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt and the industry usually accounts for up to 15% of the country’s gross domestic product.