Egypt records rise in tourists

24th Jan 2013

Egypt seems to be back on the radar of tourists after a rise in numbers was recorded last year, according to official figures.

Tourism officials have reported that visitor numbers rose 17% to 11.5 million last year, with the increase hailed as a sign of recovery from the Arab Spring.

Traditional destinations such as the Pyramids of Giza and Sharm El Sheikh slowly recovered in 2012, while holidaymakers are being encouraged to visit a replica of Tutankhamun's tomb.

Tourism officials hope this will allow restoration work to be carried out on the original tomb, which has reportedly been damaged by changes in humidity levels caused by tourists.

Tourism numbers were hit by the uprising of January 2011 that saw president Hosni Mubarak overthrown.

Burt Egypt hopes last year's recovery can provide the springboard to return to similar levels of tourism seen before the Arab rebellion, when tourism accounted for 11% of the country's economy.

"We did better than anyone expected despite the problems we had," Hisham Zaazou, Egypt's tourism minister, told Reuters.

"We can move close to figures of 2010 by the end of 2013. We hope to pave the way for a comeback."

prior to the Arab Spring.

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