Nearly half a million Chinese tourists visited Egypt in 2018 compared with only 300,000 in 2017. File photo.

More Chinese tourists are expected to visit Egypt in the coming years as ties between the two countries continue to grow stronger, says Shi Yuewen, the Chinese cultural counselor to Egypt, China Daily reported.

“Nearly half a million Chinese tourists visited Egypt in 2018 compared with only 300,000 in 2017, which is a big leap,” says Shi, who expects the number of Chinese visitors to exceed 500,000 in 2019.

Egypt’s continuing efforts to enhance stability and eliminate terrorism especially at heritage sites will encourage more Chinese to visit the country, says Shi.  There are also plans to overhaul services in hotels to offer tourists more competitive prices.

Egypt netted US$6.1 billion in tourism revenues in 2015, a drastic decline from US$12.5 billion in 2010, according to the official statistics agency. Revenues from 2018 are expected to total US$9 billion, up from US$7.6 billion the previous year.

One of the world’s most ancient civilizations, Egypt has been working hard to uncover and preserve its archeological heritage across the country while organizing conferences abroad to promote its ancient heritage.

It is also striving to revive its ailing tourism sector which has been suffering an acute recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and security issues. A senior tourism official said as many as 6 million tourists are predicted to visit Egypt in the first half of 2019.

Describing Egypt as a “very important tourism country,” Shi encouraged the Egyptian government to provide more support for the tourism sector.

“Chinese tourists adore Egyptian monuments, and Egyptian archeological sites are well-known to the Chinese who have a similarly ancient civilization,” Shi adds.

According to The National website, tighter security measures and a large-scale military campaign against religious extremism, have significantly reduced the number of attacks. However, the focus on security also means that historical sites are now so heavily policed that negotiating access involves a multitude of searches and checks.

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