A senior official of the Ministry of State for Antiquities said that the growth of tourism traffic to Egypt during the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) led the ministry’s revenues to grow to EGP 80m, up by 25% compared to the same period last year.
The official told Daily News Egypt that revenues in July were very weak, but September and October saw a significant improvement, which pushed the total proceeds during the four months of July, August, September and October of the current fiscal year to reach EGP 80m.
The sale of tickets to visit historic shrines and museums across various areas of Egypt account for the largest share of revenues of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, constituting more than 90%.
Egypt’s tourism income surged during the first nine months of this year to EGP 5.3bn, up by 211% compared to the same period last year.
“We expect an improvement in the income [from] the archaeological sites by the end of the fiscal year of up to EGP 300m, up by 30% from last year, thanks to improved tourist flows visiting the archaeological areas, especially in Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo,” the official said.
He added that the improvement in revenues will push forward the work of restoration and completion of construction work on museums in different regions.
Egypt intends to open the Grand Egyptian Museum, being built on an area of 135,000 sqm west of Cairo, mid-next year.
The Ministry of Antiquities saw peak income in FY 2009/2010, with revenues reaching EGP 1.3bn. Yet, income dropped by 90% the following year, due to the 2011 political uprising.
The official said that the drop of revenues forced the ministry to obtain loans from the Ministry of Finance to pay employees’ their salaries, which total EGP 80m per month.
Russia has suspended its tourism flights to Egypt since the beginning of November 2015, following the crash of a Russian airliner. Britain followed suit suspending flights to Sharm El Sheikh.