ATM 2020: GCC tourists to Egypt expected to spend $2.36 billion this year

Arabian Travel Market

According to data published by Colliers International ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2020, GCC tourists to Egypt are expected to spend $2.36 billion in 2020, representing an 11 per cent jump on 2019, with visitors from Saudi Arabia driving this growth.

Data revealed that visitors from Saudi Arabia to Egypt made 1,410 trips in 2019 with a forecast of 1.8 million tourists by 2024 – a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of five per cent. Saudi Arabian visitors spent $633 million in 2019, a figure which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent through to 2024, reaching $1.13 billion.

Exhibition director – Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, Danielle Curtis elaborated: “Total tourism receipts in Egypt which stood at $16.4 billion in 2019, will achieve an average 13 per cent CAGR over the next five years to reach $29.7 billion. Egypt also has a significant outbound market for the GCC. 1.84 million visitors arrived in 2019 and this is estimated to increase to 2.64 million by 2024.”

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Germany, Egypt’s top source market, brought forth 2.48 million arrivals in 2019, representing a 46 per cent jump on 2018 figures, with total spend standing at $1.22 billion. Travellers from this market are forecast to reach 2.9 million by 2024, with a total projected spend of $2.18 billion.

While arrivals from Europe are set to be the biggest contributor on a regional basis, increasing from 6.2 million in 2018 to 9.1 million tourists in 2022, arrivals from the GCC at 11 per cent will represent one of the highest growth rates.

Curtis said: “Over the last 12 months, Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed remarkable growth, with arrivals up 57.5 per cent from 11.3 million in 2018 to 17.8 million in 2019. Growth has been fuelled by the cheaper Egyptian Pound and government incentives for charter airlines operating international flights.”

Data and analytics specialist, STR, reported that Sharm El Sheikh led the recovery with RevPAR rebounding 315 per cent for the November rolling 12-month period between 2016 and 2019. Hurghada followed closely with a 311 per cent increase, whereas Cairo and Giza recorded a 138 per cent growth.

“Underscoring those impressive numbers, we witnessed a 23 per cent increase in the number of visitors interested in doing business with Egypt, up to almost 4,000,” Curtis declared.

Egypt will be back at the Arabian Travel Market 2020 in full force this year, with prominent tourism companies in attendance, including the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, Dana Tours and Orascom Development Egypt, representing a 29 per cent increase in participation since 2018.

Egypt’s second largest source market last year was the Ukraine, with 1.49 million visitors, representing almost 50 per cent growth over the previous year. This is said to be a result of the availability of direct flights, which, after a two-year suspension, resumed in April 2018.

Egypt tourism capital investment, which was estimated to have reached $4.2billion in 2019, up 25 per cent on 2018, was fully justified after an announcement by the UK’s Department of Transport (DoT), which ended ban on direct flights between the UK and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

Curtis explained: “This should lift UK visitor numbers significantly in 2020 and beyond. Just days after the ban on UK flights to Sharm al-Sheikh was lifted, British Ambassador to Egypt Geoffrey Adams claimed that nearly half a million British citizens would visit Egypt before the end of 2020, a major boost for Egyptian tourism.”

Following the lifting of the flight ban, hotel occupancy for the following year was a mere 33.6 per cent, according to STR figures, but it climbed to 59.7 per cent in 2019.

“Looking further than its current top source markets, the 2020 influx of UK visitors, the bulk of Russian visitors still to come back, as well as the Chinese market, the future looks promising for Egyptian tourism,” Curtis concluded.