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Egypt keen for tourism recovery by year-end as visitor numbers rise

DUBAI, May 16 (Reuters) – Egypt is optimistic about welcoming more visitors this year with numbers increasing steadily since January to around half a million tourists a month, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany told Reuters.

Tourism revenue, an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, plunged by 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism usually accounts for up to 15% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Monthly tourism revenues stood at about $500,000, half of what they were before the pandemic. But Egypt hopes for a recovery by the end of the year when it aims to have vaccinated tourism staff in resorts along the Red Sea and name the area a COVID-free destination, Enany said.

“More than 65% of (tourists) are coming to the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates because they are open air spaces and (there are)…

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