Research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed that the Egyptian economy could face daily losses of more than EGP 31 million (USD 2 million) if it stays on the UK’s travel ‘red list’ as it deters UK travelers from visiting the country.
According to pre-pandemic figures, UK visitors represented five percent of all international inbound arrivals in 2019. The UK was also the third biggest source market for Egypt, only just behind Germany and Saudi Arabia.
The global tourism body says this is due to fears over the additional costs incurred on expensive hotel quarantine for 10 days on arrival back in the UK, and expensive COVID-19 tests.
Egypt’s economy could face a drain of more than EGP 237 million (USD 15 million) each week, equating to more than EGP 1 billion (USD63.7 million) every month.
WTTC research shows the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on the Egyptian Travel & Tourism sector, with its contribution to the national GDP falling from EGP 505 billion (USD 334 million) (8.8 percent) in 2019, to just EGP 227.5 billion (USD 150 million) (3.8 percent) in 2020.
The report also shows in 2020, as the pandemic ripped through the heart of the sector, 844,000 Travel & Tourism jobs were lost across the country.
Virginia Messina, senior vice president and acting CEO WTTC, said: “The UK’s government decision to add Egypt to its ‘red list’ has a massive impact not only on the nation’s economy, but also the many thousands of ordinary Egyptians who rely upon a thriving travel & tourism sector for their livelihoods.
“The UK’s vaccine rollout has proved incredibly successful with more than three quarters of the adult population double jabbed, and 59 percent of the total population fully vaccinated. The likelihood is that anyone travelling to Egypt would be fully inoculated and therefore pose minor risk.