Tourism in Cairo

Tourism in Cairo



Tourism in Cairo

            Tourism is one of Egypt’s most important sectors. Tourism in the country is one of Egypt’s main sources of revenue as the sector contributes five percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Through the economic activity created by the sector, Egypt is able to employ half a million of its residents and improve the infrastructure in much of the country. However, the ongoing political crisis in the country has greatly affected the nation, with some Islamist groups even threatening to target tourists deliberately. This has created tension within the nation and affected tourist traffic into Cairo. Despite this, there are still various opportunities for tourists in Cairo.

            One opportunity for Cairo’s tourism sector comes from the nature of its tourists’ home countries. An analysis of the tourism sector reveals that Egypt receives the bulk of its tourists from Europe and the Middle East (Business Monitor International, 2012). In 2011, seven million visitors to the country came from Europe while 1.6 million originated from the Middle East. The specific countries that contributed most of these visitors include the UK, Russia, France, Germany, Libya and Saudi Arabia. Most of these countries have developed economies and are currently recovering from the economic crises of the late 2000s. This means that the residents have a lot of income that they can afford to spend on vacations, thus leaving the sector hopeful for the future (Business Monitor International, 2012).

            In addition to the economic statuses of tourist source countries, the sector in Egypt is likely to be boosted by the progress that domestic airlines have made in the last few years. In 2008, EgyptAir joined the global Star Alliance making it a member of an organization that includes more than ten other major airlines from around the world (Business Monitor International, 2012). This means that tourists can fly to Egypt using the nation’s largest airline and earn frequent flyer points that they can use with some of their domestic carriers. The situation also means that more major airlines will be flying to Cairo, making it easier for tourists from around the world to visit the city (Business Monitor International, 2012).

            Another opportunity allowing tourists to visit Cairo is the fact that the industry has embraced new technologies such as the internet to facilitate transactions. Scholars argue that the internet has played a role in revolutionizing the global tourism industry (Mavromatis & Buhalis, 2003). Through the medium, organizations operating in the sector have been able to increase their revenue by advertising to previously unreachable markets and allowing some customers to carry out their transactions online. This change means that companies engaged in Cairo’s tourism sector can engage in sophisticated marketing techniques. Indeed, Mavromatis and Buhalis (2003) argue that the tourism sector in Egypt mainly considers the internet as an effective tool for the industry’s promotion.

            Tourism is one of Egypt’s most important sectors as it brings in millions of dollars in foreign currency and facilitates the employment of up to half a million Egyptians. Through its rich heritage and natural beauty, Cairo has always been able to attract visitors from all over the world. Even though the political crisis in Egypt has greatly affected the sector, there are still opportunities that foreigners can exploit to visit Cairo. One of those opportunities lies in the spending power that many of the tourists have, as they mostly originate from developed nations that have large economies. The tourists can also take advantage of EgyptAir’s recent progress that has seen it join the Air Alliance, creating partnerships with other major airlines in the world. Lastly, the sector’s adoption of the internet as an interfacing tool means that visitors can now plan their trips online focusing on fine details such as transport and accommodation.


Business Monitor International. (2012). Egypt tourism report. London: Business Monitor International.

Mavromatis, C. and Buhalis, D. (2004). Internet Development in the Egyptian Tourism Industry, Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2004, International Conference, Cairo: ENTER04.

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