Corona updates: June 17th: Egypt Is Set to Open to International Tourism from July 1 When The Country’s State of Emergency Comes to an End
Egypt is to open to international tourism from July 1 when the country’s state of emergency comes to an end. After extending the country’s state of emergency for 3 months back in April by President Abdel Fattah El- Sisi, Egypt looks like is set to reopen to its doors to foreign tourist come July 1st when the country’s state of emergency ends. According to Dr Khaled El-Enani, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, the north African country’s main summer destinations of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Matrouh will be the first to be opened to visitors, followed by a gradual opening of other destinations in the country.
He said the ministry had contracted three international auditing companies for the surveillance and control of the implementation of health and safety protocols in hotels and other tourism amenities.
Egypt has already announced a range of financial incentives to help kick-start inbound tourism to in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Aircraft landing and parking fees are to be halved and a 20% discount offered on-ground services in South Sinai, Hurghada and Matrouh airports.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation UNWTO Egypt saw a remarkable increase in its tourist arrivals by a whopping 21% as it welcomed close to 13.6 million tourists in 2019. This statistic figure put Egypt at the top of the pack among countries in the Asian and Pacific region in which many countries experienced a fall in the numbers of their international arrivals. Before the marauding Coronavirus hit, the UNWTO has projected Egypt economy to rake in close to 7.7 billion dollars as visitor numbers were expected to exceed 15 million if all were to go well for the North African tourism giant. Said Saeed al Batouti an official of the UNWTO
Batouti added that Egypt managed to pull off such a stunning growth in its visitor numbers given the political stability that the country is having as well as the overwhelming support given to the sector by the local leadership.
However, given the current state of the world right now, neither Egypt or any other country on the planet is going to be able to receive even half of the tourist arrivals it did receive in the previous year given the fact that the COVID-19 global pandemic has made international air travel almost impossible for the time being and also many people have lost their jobs and tourism being a non-essential need, many are likely to shelf their plans to travel for now.
In a bid to try to salvage something from this tourism season, the Egyptian government is set to cut the cost of tourist visas and museum entry fees a thing that is aimed at stimulating demand for tourists to visit Egypt due to cheaper tourist visas and entry fees to many of their major tourist sites.
As of today, Egypt has recorded over 49000 positive coronavirus cases, over 13000 recoveries and over 1850 fatalities
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