Tourist inflow to Egypt rose by about 25 percent in December 2016, compared to December 2015, to stand at around 551,000 tourists, according to data obtained by Aswat Masriya from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
The number of tourist nights, meanwhile, increased by 41.4 percent in December to reach 3.4 million nights. The increase contributed to the rise in Egypt's tourism revenues by 9% during the last quarter of last year (October-December), to reach $825.8 million versus $758.2 million in the previous (third) quarter.
According to the CBE data, tourism revenues rose to $279.8 million in December, compared to $273.5 million in November, and $272.5 million in October.
This improvement contributed to mitigating the decline in tourism revenues since nearly a year. In the last quarter of 2016, revenues fell by 15.8 percent, compared to the same quarter of 2015.
Revenue declined in the third quarter of 2016 (July-September) at a rate of 56.1 percent, compared to the same quarter of 2015.
The tourism sector, one of the most important sources of hard currency, shrank by 37.5 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (January-March 2016), according to the latest data announced by the Ministry of Planning.
The tourism sector received a severe blow following the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai in October 2015 which killed all 224 people on board. The Cabinet set a plan in May 2016 aiming to attract 10 million tourists to Egypt by the end of 2017.
According to the CBE data, the total number of tourists coming to Egypt during the fourth quarter of 2016 reached 1.6 million tourists, compared to 1.5 million in the previous quarter of 2016 and 1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.