Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/19/2014 -- Political revolution in 2011, which led to the end of the rule of the country's fourth president, Hosni Mubarak, resulted in significant challenges for the Egyptian travel and tourism sector. Social and political conditions improved in 2012 and the tourism sector showed signs of recovery, but the situation deteriorated again in 2013 due to further unrest. Conditions in the country have improved since July-August 2013, and Timetric expects a slow return to growth over the forecast period (2014-2018).
- Political unrest adversely affected the Egyptian economy in 2011 and 2013. The growth in gross domestic product (GDP), which increased at a rate of 5.1% in 2010, slowed to 1.8% in 2011. Travel and tourism, a major economic contributor, was affected, with international arrivals decreasing at a rate of 33.2% in 2011 owing to the unrest and the country's negative image portrayed in the worldwide media. As the situation improved post revolution, the country registered a return to growth and signs of recovery in 2012. However, further unrest in July 2013, which led to the ousting of Mohamed Morsi from power by the military, hampered economic growth and tourist flows in the country once again.
- Egypt has a variety of natural landscapes and cultural heritage sites. It is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Pyramid fields from Giza to Dahshur, Nubian Monuments at Abu Simbel and Wadi Al-Hitan. Egypt's cultural and archaeological heritage is also a tourist attraction and work has been ongoing to restore and renovate key sites. The Pyramid of Khafre, also known as the Pyramid of Chephren, was reopened in October 2012 after 10-year-long renovation work, to strengthen the ailing Egyptian tourism sector.
- Despite the political unrest, domestic tourism in Egypt performed well. The number of domestic trips increased from 12.4 million in 2009 to 15.0 million in 2013, due to government efforts to promote domestic tourism such as offering discounts to citizens at key tourist destinations, and discounts offered by hotels to make-up for the losses registered due to the lack of international tourists. The average expenditure per domestic tourist in Egypt increased at a review-period CAGR of 5.70%.
- The revolution in Egypt in 2011 drove a number of countries, including the US and the UK, to issue travel warnings, advising residents not to travel to the country. Political unrest in 2013 damaged the country's reputation further. Easing foreign travelers' concerns over safety and security is a major challenge facing the Egyptian tourism sector. According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2013, Egypt ranked last (140 out of 140 countries) in terms of safety and security. However, in October 2013, the Tourism Ministry announced the lifting of travel warning by 13 countries, including Germany, Hungary, Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland.
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Companies Mentioned in this Report: Air Arabia Egypt, EGYPTAIR Holding Company, Air Cairo, EgyptAir Express, Nile Air, InterContinental Hotels Egypt, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Egypt, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Egypt, Accor Hotels Egypt, Hilton Hotels Egypt, Europcar Egypt, Maneuver Rent a Car, Budget Rent-A-Car Egypt, Hertz Car Rental Egypt, Smart Limo, Quest Travel, Samo Egypt Tours, Sun East Tours, Nicolas Tours, Sunrise Tours
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