World Economy

Egyptian Tourism Suffers ‘Severe Blow’

Egyptian Tourism Suffers ‘Severe Blow’Egyptian Tourism Suffers ‘Severe Blow’

Tourism, or the lack of tourism, can mean serious harm to the economy in Egypt. Egypt is concerned over the recent outflow of Russian and British tourists–about 70% of its total visitors. Tourism generates more than 11% of the country’s GDP.

The forecast comes from the adviser to the minister of tourism, Mohamed Yousef, who said that losing those tourists would be “a severe blow” to the industry.

“Russian tourists are ranked first with three million per year. British one million,” Yousef said according to Al Ahram newspaper. “Their leaving is a severe blow for the industry. The loss will be 70% of the tourist influx.”

Such a scenario could see Egypt’s GDP plummet, as tourism makes up 11.3% of GDP, while also providing for about 14% in the country’s revenue in foreign currencies, according to the ministry of tourism.

Yousef’s statement comes during a rush of foreign countries suspending flights to and from Egypt in wake of the Russian plane crash last week in Sinai that killed all 224 people onboard.

Russia followed suit on Friday, following the UK, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and some other states in canceling flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh until the cause of the Sinai crash is established. One proffered scenario has been a terrorist bomb attack, although this is yet to be verified by the investigators studying the plane’s remains.

Most recently, the Dutch tour operator Corendon canceled all flights to Egypt until at least December 18. Two other Dutch operators, TUI and Neckermann, only cancelled flights to Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egypt’s tourist business has dropped significantly since 2011, when the country was engulfed in anti-government protests. Up until then, Egyptian resorts had hosted up to 15 million tourists per year, as opposed to 2014, when only 9.9 million tourists visited Egypt, Reuters reported.