Russian tourists in Egypt increase 32%: Media outlets

23 Dec 2017

The number of Russian tourists arriving in Egypt has rose 32 percent during 2017, according to media outlets Friday.

Most of the tourists headed to Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Cairo using indirect flights. This increase came despite the difficulties faced by the lack of air traffic between Egypt and Russia during the last period, especially after the 2015 Russian plane crash in Sinai.

The highest number of Russian tourists – about 47 percent – chose to head to Hurghada as their first distention, followed by Sharm el-Sheikh with 42 percent and finally Cairo with only 11 percent.

On December 15, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov told Russia 24 that the Egyptian-Russian direct flights would resume in the first half of February.

“In the first half of February, if there are no other changes and negative events, the regular air communication between Cairo and Moscow will resume,' he was quoted by the news channel.

The Russian suspension has affected Egypt’s national economy negatively, as the tourism industry, especially from Russia, represents a key source of foreign currency to the country. The return of Russian flights and tours could be a massive boost to tourist numbers, which have reached 5.3 million tourists in 2016, compared to 14.7 million in 2010.

In an interview with Egyptian-owned news agency MENA on December 20, Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed said that Egyptian tourism has overcome its crises and all its difficulties. He added that 2018 will witness even more achievements.

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