In the aftermath of the deadly Russian plane crash in late October, just 558,600 foreign tourists arrived in Egypt in November 2015, the lowest figure in over two years, according to numbers released by state statistics agency CAPMAS.
Following the Russian airplane disaster, in which 224 passengers and crew were killed, Moscow banned flights to Egypt. Other countries and airlines followed suit.
November arrivals fell by almost 38 percent compared to the same month the year before, when CAPMAS recorded 898,200 arrivals. The percentage of tourists from Eastern Europe also fell, from almost 40 percent in October 2015 to less than 29 percent in November. Of those, less than half came from countries in the Russian federation.
November was the worst month for tourism since October 2013 — shortly after the August killing of more than 630 protestors in Cairo’s Rabea and Nahda squares, which saw an almost identical number of visitors.
Since the 2011 Revolution, only four months have seen fewer foreign arrivals to Egypt, Central Bank figures show.
In the immediate aftermath of the January 25 uprising, just 210,971 tourists visited in February 2011 and 535,100 in March. Following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown against protest encampments supporting the ousted president, only 564,517 tourists visited in August 2013 and 301,150 in September.
In 2010, more than a million visitors arrived every month, peaking at 1.485 million in September.
The year 2015 began with a modest recovery, but tourist arrivals started to drop off in August, driven in part by attacks on tourists in Egypt and other countries in the region. In June, 38 people died in an attack in Tunisia, most of them British tourists. Egypt’s military accidentally killed a party of Mexican tourists visiting the Western Desert in September. This was followed by the October plane crash in Sinai, which foreign intelligence services have blamed on terrorists.
2016 has gotten off to a rocky start. On January 8, at least two European tourists were stabbed at a hotel in Hurghada. This followed a January 7 attack outside a Giza hotel that officials say targeted security forces rather than tourists.