COVID-19: Egypt Eases Restrictions on Hotels, Cinemas to Boost Tourism

Egypt’s cabinet on Sunday eased guest limits for hotels as well as restaurants, cinemas and theatres to 70% of their capacity from 50 percent at present as coronavirus infections slow, a cabinet statement said.

Egypt has been gradually easing pandemic restrictions since June 1. Official figures showed 181 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Saturday, with 27 deaths from the disease.

Cairo hopes to see tourism activity pick up with the slowdown of the pandemic.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ghada Shalaby disclosed that Egypt’s tourism revenues were between $3.5 billion to $4 billion during the first half of 2021 and the country received about 3.5 million tourists from January to June.

The country’s revenues from the vital sector were about $4 billion in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, down by 70% from $13.03 billion in 2019.

Shalaby added that they were expecting that numbers of tourists will increase by 45% to 60% during the next period compared with last year.

The average spending of a tourist per night is about $95, she added.

Tourism revenue is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt and the industry usually accounts for up to 15% of the country’s gross domestic product.

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