Middle East

Egypt aiming for tourism revenues of $6 bln-$7 bln in 2021 - deputy minister

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CAIRO, April 25 (Reuters) - Egypt is aiming for tourism revenues of $6 billion-$7 billion in 2021, the deputy tourism minister told Reuters.

Tourism revenue, a key source of foreign currency for Egypt, plunged by 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism usually accounts for up to 15% of the country's gross domestic product. read more

The number of tourists visiting Egypt sank to 3.5 million last year from 13.1 million in 2019.

Egypt expects to see around 60% of the number of visitors it had in 2019 this year, Ghada Shalaby said.

The country expects to attract more than 1 million Russian tourists during the rest of 2021 as direct flights between the two countries are set to resume, she added.

Russian agency Interfax reported on Tuesday that an announcement on the resumption of charter flights to Egypt was expected "soon".

Direct flights to popular Egyptian resorts were suspended after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in October 2015, killing 224 people.

Reporting by Mohamed Sayed; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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