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Egypt set to welcome 20% more visitors this year

Egypt set to welcome 20% more visitors this year
22 Oct 2012

Egypt's tourism minister has said the country is expecting a 20% increase in visitor numbers this year despite recent political and civil unrest.

Former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011 following an uprising and the north African nation has been troubled by instability since then.

Tourism provided more than a tenth of Egypt's gross domestic product before the protests, which have deprived the country's top resorts and attractions of millions of visitors, Reuters reported.

However, tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said hotels in Egypt have continued to see strong occupancy rates, with 8.8m people travelling to destinations such as Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh in the first nine months of the year.

'What I'm targeting is 11.5m to 12m tourists by the end of December. For sure over 11 million,' he added.

Visitor numbers are expected to return to 2010 levels by the end of next year, depending on the situation regarding safety and security in the nation.

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