Egypt recorded a 24 percent increase in tourism revenue in the first quarter of 2010 as the industry recovered from last year’s global financial crisis, the tourism minister said.
Revenue increased to $2.7 billion for the three months through March, Zoheir Garranah said in a telephone interview today from the city of Luxor in southern Egypt. Tourist arrivals advanced 29 percent to 3.46 million visitors, he said.
“We have completely rebounded,” Garranah said. “But still I believe this country deserves more.”
The Egyptian economy depends on tourism, foreign direct investment and the Suez Canal for foreign currency. Tourism, which accounts for more than 12 percent of jobs, generated $10.76 billion in 2009, according to the ministry.
The economy of Egypt, home to the Pyramids of Giza, grew 4.7 percent in the fiscal year through June, beating the forecast of the International Monetary Fund. The government expects the economy to grow more than 5 percent this fiscal year.
Besides its historical attractions, Egypt also draws tourists seeking sun, sand and diving along its Red Sea coast and in the Sinai Peninsula. Russia maintained its position as the main source of tourists to the Arab country, with arrivals from the country growing 93.5 percent in the first quarter and revenue increasing 80 percent over the same period in 2009, the minister said.
Beltone Financial had expected tourism revenue in the first three months to be $2.8 billion, Reham El-Desoki, senior economist at the Cairo-based investment bank, said by e-mail. EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, had expected receipts to reach $2.5 billion, economist Mohamed Abu Basha said.
Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, which owns four hotels operated by Four Seasons Hotels Inc., rose 0.5 percent to 8.41 Egyptian pounds at 13:27 p.m. today in Cairo, outperforming the benchmark EGX30 index, which advanced 0.1 percent.