Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2014 -- BMI's Egypt Tourism Report analyses the investment potential which Egypt offers to large tourist industries - particularly global hotel groups - as they seek to harness the growth opportunities being offered by the local market over the long term. However, over the short term, still-high political risk will continue to act as a clear suppressant to tourism demand.
Looking at recent indicators from the sector, Q313 arrivals proved every bit as bad as BMI had feared, with July, August and September all seeing significant falls in tourist arrivals year-on-year (y-o-y). We believe the tourism sector currently stands at its lowest point since February 2011, although we are cautiously optimistic that Q413 should mark a short-term low point for the industry.
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According to the latest data from Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAMPAS), 301,150 tourists visited Egypt in September 2013, representing a 69.4% y-o-y decline. This follows a 24.5% decline in tourist arrivals for July and a 45.6% fall in arrivals for August. The September 2013 arrivals figure marked the lowest level since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Given that industry accounts for around 10% of the country's GDP and employs a similar share of the population, as well as being a vital source of dollars into the country, these figures are depressing for the country's economic outlook.
Looking forward, BMI's Country Risk team believes the worst of Egypt's tourism crisis may now be over and that an improving political outlook will lead to increased tourist numbers, although the effect will be somewhat lagged, as tourists tend to plan holidays in advance. However, with the interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi stating in late November 2013 that a referendum on an amended constitution is likely to take place in January 2014, there is clearly the risk that political tensions may flare up in the run-up to the vote. Even if this vote can pass off peacefully, there are then fresh presidential and parliamentary elections due to be scheduled for H114, meaning there may not be a substantial reduction in political risk over the coming six months.
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