Cairo - The number of tourists that visited Egypt in May increased by 32.9% compared to last year, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported on Monday. CAPMAS added that the number of nights tourists spent in Egypt increased by 145.8% to 5.9 million nights, up from 2.4 million during May of last year. Hotel occupancy rates also rose to 45.2% in April 2017, compared to 20% last year. Egypt’s economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising, which ushered in political instability that drove away tourists and foreign investors. The tourism sector received a severe blow following the downing of a Russian passenger plane 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.
The flotation of local currency is expected to have a positive impact on the tourism sector, as the value of goods in the Egyptian market is now cheaper than that of other markets, which should encourage tourists to buy Egyptian products, hence raising the average tourist expenditure.