Giza pyramids
Camel guides wait for customers at the Pyramids Plateau in Giza Pyramids, on the outskirts of CairoReuters

Egypt's wounded tourism industry took another hit in May as the number of visitors declined 20% compared to the same month a year earlier.

Data released by the country's official statistics body, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation Services (CAPMAS) showed 768,000 holiday-makers visited the country during the month, down from 969,000 in 2013.

Tourists Wary of Instability

Three years of political, social and economic turmoil has taken its toll on Egypt's tourism industry, which remains a key source of foreign exchange reserves for Cairo.

Three Korean tourists were killed when a bomb exploded on a tour bus in the eastern Sinai region in February 2014. An Islamist militant group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, declaring an "economic war" against the government.

The overall number of visitors in the first five months of the year has fallen by 26% compared to the same period in 2013.

In 2010, the year before Egypt's revolution, 10 million tourists visited the country, accounting for 14% of the country's gross domestic product.


The country's new President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former head of the armed forces, was elected amid hopes that he would turn around the country's deteriorating security and economy.

Yet, violence and political unrest continues to plague parts of the country. Seven civilians and a soldier were killed in a mortar attack in northern Sinai on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Gulf Tourists Boost

However, in a sign of the growing ties between post-coup Egypt and the countries in the Persian Gulf, visitor numbers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait increased.

The number of visitors from the UAE soared by 35% over the first five months of the year, while Kuwaiti visitors jumped by 11%. The number of Saudi Arabians visiting in the same period increased by 6%.