Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Europeans Make Up 70 Percent of Egypt's Tourists

The percentage of European tourists to Egypt has dropped to 70 percent down from the 76 percent of 2010, reported the Middle East News Agency on Thursday.

A delegation from the European Union (EU) visited an Egyptian senior official on Wednesday where they approved an aid to Egypt worth €5 billion.

Informal meetings between Egypt and the EU have been ongoing to discuss strengthening economic ties especially in the field of tourism. The two have recently signed a letter of intent to encourage investment.

Through a series of agreements, Egypt is currently engaged in attempts to revitalize tourism which employs between 12.6 percent of the country's labor force and represents 11.3 percent of the GDP.

"Despite the drop in tourism, Europeans still represent about 70 percent of tourists to Egypt", reported the state agency.

Egypt's tourism was negatively affected by last year's uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak - especially in light of Islamists demanding to ban alcohol and restrict beaches.

The economy has slightly picked up during the current year as unrest relatively cooled down.

Trade between Egypt and the EU represents 35 to 40 percent and is estimated at $33 billion, MENA said, not specifying however what year the figure refers to.

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