Egypt tourist arrivals down a third in Q2

Tourist arrivals in Egypt dropped by 35.4 percent in the second quarter following the unrest that surrounded the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak, official statistics showed on Monday.

The figures were a blow to Egypt - home to ancient sites and pristine beach resorts - where tourism is a key money earner and source of foreign currency.

Some 2.2 million people visited Egypt in the second quarter of this year compared to 3.5 million in the same period in 2010, the official MENA news agency reported.

"The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics attributed the decline to the current developments in Egypt after the January 25 revolution" which ousted Mubarak in February, MENA said.

Reports in May said Egypt had lost 13.5 billion pounds (2.27 billion dollars) in tourism revenues in the three months since the uprising.

Egypt has struggled to revive tourism since the revolt, which left most police stations torched and brought the military on to the streets.

The country attracted about 15 million tourists last year, many of them visiting Red Sea resorts or touring Egypt's world-famous heritage sites.

On Sunday, Egypt said a proposed new requirement for tourists to obtain visas in advance had been shelved because it would have a negative impact on tourism revenues.

Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of revenues, are granted visas on arrival.

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