GCC tourism spend in Egypt will increase 11% in 2020 generating $2.36 billion, says new ATM report

GCC tourists to Egypt will spend $2.36 billion in 2020, an increase of 11% over 2019, with visitors from Saudi Arabia driving this growth, according to new data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April 2020.

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 5%. In terms of tourism expenditure, Saudi Arabian visitors spent $633 million in 2019 which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11% through to 2024, reaching $1.13 billion, according to Colliers International research commissioned by the organiser of ATM, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Total tourism receipts in Egypt which stood at $16.4 billion in 2019, will achieve an average 13% CAGR over the next five years to reach $29.7 billion.”

“And 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,” added Curtis.

Egypt’s top source market is Germany with 2.48 million arrivals a 46% increase over 2018 and a total spend of $1.22 billion in 2019. German arrivals are forecast to reach 2.9 million by 2024 with a total projected spend of $2.18 billion.

While arrivals from Europe are expected to be the largest 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% will represent one of the highest growth rates.

“Over the last 12 months, Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed remarkable growth, with arrivals up 57.5% 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,” said Curtis.

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

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

Taking advantage of this resurgence in tourists, Egypt will be back at ATM 2020 with some of the country’s most prominent tourism companies including the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, Dana Tours and Orascom Development Egypt, representing a 29% increase in participation since 2018.

Following Germany, the second largest source market in 2019 was the Ukraine, with 1.49 million visitors, almost 50% growth over the previous year. This remarkable rise has been mainly driven by the availability of direct flights, which resumed, after a two-year suspension, in April 2018.

Egypt tourism capital investment, which was estimated to have reached $4.2billion in 2019, up 25% on 2018, was fully justified after a major announcement by the UK’s Department of Transport (DoT), was made on 22nd October 2019. The DoE ended a ban on direct flights between the UK and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

“This should lift UK visitor numbers significantly in 2020 and beyond,” she added, “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.

After the flight ban was imposed, according to STR figures, hotel occupancy for the following year was a mere 33.6% – last year it had already climbed to 59.7%.

“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,” said Curtis

ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries. With over 100 exhibitors making their debut, ATM 2019 showcased the largest ever exhibition from Asia.

Adopting Events for Tourism Growth as the official show theme, ATM 2020 will build on the success of this year’s edition with a host of seminar sessions discussing the impact events have on tourism growth in the region while inspiring the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of events.