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Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour on Tuesday said that the number of tourists in Egypt during the first six months in 2012 increased by over 25 percent compared to the same period last year.
5,652,242 tourists entered Egypt from January through June 2012, 26.8 percent more than during the first six months of 2011.
Abdel Nour added that the number of tourists coming from Russia rose by 80 percent, Poland by 66 percent, the Middle East by 36 percent, and Germany by 30 percent, while the number of tourists coming from the UK fell by seven percent.
The minister expected more growth in the second half of the year, especially as charter airlines are considerably increasing their flights as of September thanks to the incentives offered by the ministry. Tourists coming from certain countries, including Turkey, would also be exempted from visa fees.
He expected a total figure of 12 million tourists by the end of the year, only 2 million short of the target.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm