18 k tourists visited Egypt's museums in June 2015: official
CAIRO: A total of 18,440 tourists had visited museums across Egypt in June 2015, head of the museums section at the antiquities ministry Elham Salah told Youm7 Tuesday.
The number of Arabs and Egyptian who visited Egypt's museums in June reached 49,000, Salah said, adding that revenues from the entrance fees paid by Egyptian, Arab and foreign visitors to the museum in June exceeded 18 million EGP ($2.4m.)
Figures of last months were not available for comparison but Salah said though the figures are rising month after month but "they are still way behind proceeds achieved before Egypt's 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak."
"For example, in November 2010, proceeds from museum and archaeological tickets sales reached 15 million EGP compared to 4.5 million EGP in November 2012," Salah added.
Revenues from tourism, comprising 11.3 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP), witnessed a sharp decline in the aftermath of the political instability following the 2011 uprising.
"The Ministry of Antiquities has been encountering financial problems with its total debt, which rose to 2.8 billion EGP due to the sharp decrease in its revenues," said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty in a statement in June.
Entrance fees paid by tourists visiting museums and archaeological sites along with overseas exhibitions of Egyptian rare artifacts represent the ministry's main source of income, said Salah.
According to Damaty, the ministry's revenues during the 2013/2014 fiscal year reached only 125 million EGP compared to 3 billion EGP during the 2009/2010 fiscal year.
Damaty said the ministry is currently engaged in restoration and maintenance projects of over seventy archaeological sites and museum across the country and that it is "facing difficulties to resume these projects."
In 2010, which was the peak of Egyptian tourism during the past two decades, 14.7 million tourists visited the country and spent 98.5 billion EGP in revenue, according to the 2011 report of the National Accounts Division of the Ministry of Tourism.