Egypt tourism revenues more than double in third quarter

Egypt's tourism revenues jumped 112 percent to about $2 billion in the third quarter of 2014, a tourism ministry official said, suggesting the key industry was showing signs of recovery, albeit from a particularly bad third quarter last year.

Tourism, an important source of foreign currency, has been hammered since the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

It suffered another blow in mid-2013, when the army removed elected Islamist President Mohammed Mursi from power after protests against his rule.

"Egypt's tourism revenues reached $2 billion in the third quarter of this year compared to $900 million in the same quarter of last year," Adela Ragab told Reuters by telephone.

"The number of tourists reached 2.8 million compared to 1.6 million in the same quarter last year."

Tourism had suffered a new blow in February, when a coach carrying Korean tourists was bombed by Islamist extremists in Sinai. But the security situation has largely calmed, except in parts of northern Sinai where the government is battling an Islamist insurgency.

Egypt received over 14.7 million tourists in 2010, before the 2011 uprising, which saw the number of visitors drop to 9.8 million. In 2012, the number of tourists rose to 11.5 million but fell again in 2013 to 9.5 million with revenues of $5.9 billion.

Egypt's tourism minister, Hisham Zaazou, told Reuters in September that tourism could fully recover by the end of next year if regional turmoil did not spread to the Arab world's biggest country.

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