EgyptAir Crash Latest Blow to Already Fragile Egyptian Tourism Industry
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Following the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 and the subsequent investigation, experts are warning that the latest incident has the potential to further set back the tourism industry and the overall economy in Egypt.
According to FoxNews.com, the tourism industry is responsible for around 12 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product and one out of every nine jobs in the country is related to travel, but the recent string of terrorist attacks and crashes has hurt the nation’s economy.
The economic struggles for Egypt started well before the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804, as the attack on Metrojet Flight 9268 and the shootings in the resort city of Hurghada have also seriously impacted tourism numbers.
On average, 900,000 foreigners were visiting Egypt each month before Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed due to a terrorist attack last October. After the attack, the number of visitors to the country had fallen to 500,000 the following month.
READ MORE: Egypt: Much More Than Just the Pyramids
In January, gunmen attacked tourists at a hotel in Hurghada, resulting in the number of tourists visiting Egypt falling to 346,500 the following month. When compared to the same time in 2015, tourism declined nearly 46 percent.
In addition, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism revealed that spending on the industry fell by 15 percent last year. Experts also believe the number could continue to decline if American travelers avoid visiting Egypt.
While tourism experts claim it’s too soon to estimate the fallout from the EgyptAir crash, they believe the travel industry will likely not rebound anytime soon.
“There is understandable consumer caution and hesitancy,” Trafalgar USA president Paul Wiseman said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “There has not been a large influx of cancellations [for Egypt trips] for travel, but people are making different destination choices. A few years ago, Egypt was a top 10 destination for Americans traveling with Trafalgar. Sadly, that is no longer the case.”
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