Egypt Independent

Tourism minister to visit Iran in bid for tourism boost

The tourism minister is visiting

Iran Sunday, in an attempt to boost tourism and restore ties between the two countries after being cut for more than 30 years.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Egypt earlier this month. He is the first Iranian president to visit Egypt since the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, and has called for a strategic alliance with Cairo.

The revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011 adversely affected Egyptian tourism.

Before the revolution, tourism accounted for more than 10 percent of the gross domestic product, with 14.7 million incoming tourists in 2010, generating US$12.5 billion in revenue. The following year, 9.8 million tourists came, generating $8.8 billion.