Egypt anticipates pre-Arab Spring visitor numbers

Cairo Skyline from Cairo Tower
In 2010, Egypt received 14 million tourists. Photo credit: Lukas Bischoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

According to a recent report from Capital Economics, Egypt's tourism sector is on track to reach levels not seen since 2010, the year before the Arab Spring sparked political unrest and devastated incoming tourism numbers. 

In theory, the report suggested that Egyptian tourism could generate as much as $5 billion, and while local paper Egypt Independent acknowledged that this goal "seems unrealistic," it also said that it is "not unlikely" given recent trends. 

According to the report, the restaurants and hotels sector contributed positively to the growth of the economy in the second quarter of last year by about 0.6 percent, compared to its previous negative contribution, which amounted to 0.9 percent of the growth of the gross domestic product.

In 2010, Egypt received 14 million tourists. Last year, the country counted 11.3 million, up 36 percent from 2017, according to the World Tourism Organization. The Capital Economics report linked the recovery of tourism to improved security nationwide.

While the numbers are improving, the report noted that hotel occupancy rates are still about 10 percent lower than they were before 2011. Still, assuming numbers remain on track, it should not be long before hotels are accommodating 14 million visitors once again.