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BMI View: The Egyptian tourism industry, once a thriving destination for European holidaymakers, has
suffered serious setbacks in recent months. High-profile terrorist attacks on tourism destinations,
geopolitical uncertainty, domestic political conflict and the downing of a Russian civilian airliner and
subsequent flight suspensions have all negatively impacted tourism prospects. The Red Sea resort areas in
particular have seen a massive fall in occupancy rates and, while travel to Cairo is still relatively strong,
overall we expect to see a significant contraction in international tourism arrivals in 2016. Market
fundamentals remain solid, however, with a well-developed hotel market and broad range of attractions
ensuring that once the security issues are resolved and flights resumed, Egypt will most likely see a return
to positive growth. Nevertheless, we hold a cautiously optimistic view and retain the position that major
security challenges and insecurity hurdles must be addressed before tourists begin to return in massive
Key Updates & Forecasts
? The unexplained downing of EgyptAir MS804, which was travelling from Paris to Cairo, has further
upset a volatile security situation in Egypt, fuelling fears of another aviation terrorist attack.
? Several airlines have extended the ban on flights to Sharm el-Sheikh. Thomas Cook has extended its
restriction through to October 31. EasyJet currently plans to relaunch flights from London Stansted to
Sharm el-Sheikh in May, though flights from other UK airports will remain suspended.
? There are reports that Russia is negotiating with Egypt to resume civilian flights to the country. Although
a positive sign, we also note the reports that several major airlines including British Airways and
Emirates have threatened to halt airline ticket sales in Egypt due to issues relating to the blockage of
? As a result of these developments and in light of ongoing security issues, we are forecasting a fall in
international arrivals of 7.1% in 2016. We have revised our forecast projections and believe that growth
will not resume until 2019. Any further terrorist attacks or deterioration in the regional security situation
will lead to another downwards revision of our forecast.