ATM 2018: Egypt seeks to diversify tourism markets at European growth slows

ATM 2018: Egypt seeks to diversify tourism markets at European growth slows

Arrivals from the Middle East, North America and Africa will drive growth in Egypt’s tourism industry to 2021, according to the latest data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018.

Between 2018 and 2021, arrivals from North America will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 per cent to 318,844.

Factors contributing to this growth include the cheaper Egyptian pound and government incentives for charter airlines carrying a certain number of passengers on international flights.

Over the same period, visitor numbers from Africa will see a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 per cent, to more than 300,901, while arrivals from the Middle East are predicted to increase by three per cent at compound annual growth rates, to over 1.34 million.

This is in contrast to a projected 1.6 per cent at compound annual growth rates in European visitors, who have traditionally been the key source market for Egypt with 5.2 million arrivals in 2017.

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Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed a strong 12 months, with total arrivals up 33.3 per cent from 2016 to 2017, according to data published by Colliers International.

Simon Press, senior exhibition director, ATM, said: “The tourism industry in Egypt recorded a strong performance in 2017, welcoming 7.2 million visitors, predominantly from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC, after many years of muted growth.

“This is great news for the country and we expect this trend to continue in 2018 as a series of new attractions and investments are unveiled.”

In 2010, Egypt welcomed 14.7 million tourists however, the 2011 revolution saw that fall to 9.8 million the following year.

The country’s once lucrative travel and tourism industry faced another setback in 2015 following the downing of a Russian plane in Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.

Russia, as well as Europe, have been a long-standing major source market for the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, but a ban on direct flights to this destination stifled visitor numbers in 2016, with the total number of arrivals dipping to 5.4 million.

It is hoped the resumption of flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Europe will kick start the return of air transport between the UK and the Red Sea resort and also Russia and the Red Sea holiday destination.

Press added: “To win back the millions of tourists who used to arrive in the country each year, Egypt signed a three-year, US$66 million contract, with advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to create promotional campaigns for 27 source markets.

“In addition, Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria, Starwood’s St Regis and Swiss brand Mövenpick, are some of the names confirmed to operate the 52 new hotel projects currently under development.”

The expected resurgence in visitors from the North America, African countries and the Middle East will see both leisure and corporate travel in Egypt increase over the coming four years. 

Supporting both segments, 2018 will see the government pursue a number of tourism investments including a new national museum and a series of new airports across the country.

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Celebrating its 25th year, ATM 2018 will build on the success of this year’s edition, with a host of seminar sessions looking back over the last 25 years and how the hospitality industry in the MENA region is expected to shape up over the next 25.

The event takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22nd-25th.