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36% of Egypt’s Tourists in 2016 were Arabs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptian Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed speaks during an
interview at his office in Cairo, Egypt on April 7, 2016. Photo:
REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Dubai – Egyptian Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed has said that in 2016 Arab tourism to the country represented 36.3 percent of the total tourist traffic to Egypt, which is more than one third of the total traffic.

Saudi Arabia ranked first amongst incoming Arab tourists, with a total of 507,000 tourists visiting Egypt, followed by Jordan, with 180,000 tourists, and Kuwait with about 150,000 tourists and Lebanon with nearly 86,000, the minister said.

The total number of travelers from Arab countries to Egypt reached 2 million tourists in 2016, compared to 1.7 million Arab tourists in 2015, which marks an increase of 13.2 percent, whereas in the first quarter of 2017, the number of Arab tourists increased by 38.8 percent when compared to the same period last year, Rashed stated.

He added that Egypt is always keen to take steps to lure tourists from Arab countries by facilitating entry and visa procedures or encouraging airlines from Arab countries to schedule regular flights.

The Egyptian government is currently working on facilitating entry visas to domestic helpers that usually accompany guests from GCC counties, in addition to introducing group tourist visas from guests and travelers from the Maghreb region, Rashed said.

The Egyptian minister said the recent visits of international celebrities and the planned visit of the Vatican’s Pope Francis this April 28-29 are the biggest evidence of the world’s confidence in Egypt. “We are very confident and optimistic about the tourism traffic to Egypt in the coming period”, he concluded.