New research reveals Egypt’s travel and tourism sector growing by 16.5%, second only to Ethiopia in the whole of Africa.
Last year saw strong growth for Egyptian tourism as it became the fastest growing country in northern Africa, growing by 16.5% – and second only to Ethiopia on the whole continent.
The growth is linked to the improved security infrastructure, which has helped to attract international visitors back to Egypt’s shores and has allowed major travel companies to restart operations in popular destinations such as Sharm el Sheik, according to the new research by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
It follows a year of record growth of 54.8% in the sector in 2017. Egypt’s tourism sector now contributes EGP 528.7 billion (€27 billion) and supports 2.5 million jobs – which means that more than one in ten of all travel jobs (24 million) in Africa are located in Egypt.
Although the sector has not yet fully recovered to pre-crisis levels, the size of the Egyptian travel economy in 2018 is the healthiest it has been since 2010.
In total, international tourists spent EGP 218 billion in Egypt last year, accounting for 27% of total exports. The largest inbound international markets were Germany (13%), Russia (12%), the UK (7%), Saudi Arabia (6%) and Italy (3%). Combined with domestic spending, travel and tourism supported 12% of the nation’s GDP in 2018.
Egypt’s 16.5% tourism growth rate was significantly ahead of the global average of 3.9%, and travel and tourism is now responsible for 9.5% of all of the country’s employment.
Further developments are expected in the coming years, one of the biggest being the GEM, or Grand Egyptian Museum, scheduled to open in 2020.
The US$1 billion museum is the only one with the pyramids as its backdrop and will include the full collection of Tutankhamen.