Cairo – Egypt saw a 22 % drop in tourist numbers in April 2014 compared to the same month of last year, according to a recent report issued by the tourism ministry.
A total of 859,889 foreign tourists came to Egypt in April of this year, spending 7.6 million nights in the country. In April 2013, 1,101,582 million visitors travelled to the country, spending 11 million nights.
According to the report, the largest proportion of tourists in April 2014 came from Europe – a total of 681,622 visitors, compared with 845,149 European visitors in April 2013.
The number of Arab tourists decreased by 34.3 % year-on-year to register 100,484.
Tourists from Saudi Arabia, however, increased by 17.4 % this year to reach 19,813.
Last week, the ministry announced the first ferry service linking Hurghada with Dhaba in Saudi Arabia would begin operating in June.
The new line aims to encourage Saudi tourists to visit Egypt, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said.
EgyptAir has also launched its first direct flights between the Egyptian seaside town of Hurghada and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The total number of tourists visiting Egypt in the first four months of 2014 reached 2.8 million, a 2.75 percent decline from the same period last year, the report added.