Recreation in Egypt for many years was one of the main tropical destinations for tourists due to its cheapness, as well as the attractiveness of the country with its ancient culture, history, traditions and archeological artifacts. So, according to the Federal State Statistics Service in 2014 Egypt was visited by 2,880,000 tourists, and in 2015 - by 2,224,000 tourists. In 2014-2015 the share of the Russian tourists at the Egypt resorts was about 60% of the total tourist flow. On the second position were the guests from Great Britain - 23%, on the third - from Germany (7%). In 2014 the Russians spent 2.5 billion dollars in Egypt.
However, from November 2015 (and until April 2018), after the crash of the Kogalymavia airplane, flights to Egypt and the sale of tours were banned in Russia.
During this period despite on the prohibitions the tourist flow of Russians to Egypt did not stop, but declined. The Russians flew to the resorts of the Red Sea through Belarus, Istanbul, Tel-Aviv - where there are direct flights there.
So in 2017, according to the Tourism Development Authority of Egypt, 94 000 Russians visited the country, which exceeded the results of 2016 by 378%. For comparison: in 2017 37,000 tourists from Spain visited Egypt (+214%), 177,000 from Poland (+164%), 53,000 from Slovakia (+110%), 150,000 from France (+49%).
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia compared the tourist flow to Egypt and Montenegro: "94,000 of Russian citizens are more than the Russian tourist flow to Montenegro last year (although there were direct flights to Montenegro)."
In accordance with the Decree of the President of Russian Federation, since April 11, 2018 air communication with Egypt was resumed. The regular flights to Cairo are performed by Aeroflot three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. In the opposite direction - from Cairo to Moscow - airplanes fly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. In turn, Rosturizm confirmed that tour operators can sell tourist products to Egypt on the basis of regular flights to Cairo.
However, the restrictions do not apply to independent tourists, they, as before, can travel to Egypt by any convenient way for them.
What are the future prospects of this direction? In our opinion, definitely, positive. This is evidenced from the following facts:
Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that negotiations concerning the resumption of charter flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh will begin in late spring and early summer 2018. It is expected that at the same time Russian experts will check how the Egyptians have improved the security system of the resort airports for the last two years. If they are satisfied, the restrictions of the flights will be canceled and direct regular flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada will be opened in the first half of 2018. It is expected that the first Egyptian resort, which will be opened for Russian tourists, is Hurghada.
The analysis, made by a major travel service, showed that almost two-thirds of Russians are ready this year to visit Egypt without waiting for the opening of a charter service. The travel service involved 1600 service users, 64% of which said they want to go to Egypt in 2018 and just 58% of them are ready to leave without waiting for the restoration of charter flights and the start of sales of tours. More than 40% of them still want to go to the Red Sea, 26% want to see the historical monuments of Egypt and visit Luxor. 10% of respondents said that in Egypt they are most attracted by hotel accommodation on All inclusive base and low cost of the rest.
Most tour operators refrained from selling package tours to Egyptian resorts, waiting for the resumption of charters. But several travel agencies already offer tours with flight to Cairo and further transfer by bus to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
The tourism department of the Embassy of Egypt in Moscow is engaged in promotion of tourism in Egypt.