Tourists arrive at Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport on Sunday (Photos courtesy of the Egyptian aviation ministry)
The minister added that 78 nationalities can continue to get an emergency tourist visa that can be obtained through Egyptian ports or online through its e-visa portal.
Issa made his statement while reviewing the ministry’s strategy to increase inbound tourism to Egypt by 25 to 30 percent annually.
Egypt secured $10.7 billion in tourism revenue in FY2021/2022, up from $4.9 billion in FY2020/2021, according to figures released by the Central Bank of Egypt in October.
Egypt’s tourism sector was dealt a hard blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing revenue dropped from $13.03 billion in 2019 to $4.1 billion in 2020.
Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the country received 13.1 million tourists, a number which dropped to 3.7 million in 2020 and only rose to around 8 million in 2021.
According to the minister, the main planks of the strategy involves easing the process for tourists to visit Egypt’s tourism sites.
The country also intends to increase the volume of inbound air travel in with cooperation with the Ministry of Aviation, Issa said.
Furthermore, Egypt aims to improve tourism investment climate, increase the number of hotel rooms and improve the overall tourist experience and the quality of services provided, he added.
Egypt is targetting tourism investments of about EGP 7.4 billion (nearly $250 million) in FY2022/2023, compared to EGP 6.2 billion ($210 million) in 2021/22, a growth of 19.4 percent, said Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said in December.