EGYPT TOURIST NUMBERS TUMBLE AGAIN IN MARCH, AS TURMOIL DRIVES VISITORS AWAY

CAIRO, Egypt, May 14 – The number of tourists visiting Egypt fell 32.4 percent in March, compared with the same month last year, state media said on Tuesday, as a vital source of foreign currency continues to dry up, after years of political turmoil.

Around 755,000 tourists visited Egypt in March, state-news agency MENA, quoted official statistics agency CAPMAS as saying, compared with more than a million in March 2013.

The tourism sector, a major source of foreign currency for Egypt, has been hammered since the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It suffered another blow in Feb, when a coach carrying Korean tourists was bombed by Islamist extremists.

Egypt’s revenue from tourism tumbled 41 percent last year to $5.9 billion. Hundreds were killed in the violence that followed the army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.

The tourism ministry this month launched a three-year marketing campaign, in the hope of attracting tourists and investors to the country.

SOURCE: MENA

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