Egypt eyes $12 bln in tourism earnings by 2011


CAIRO — Egypt hopes to boost its tourism earnings by 26 percent to 12 billion dollars by 2011, the official MENA agency reported on Saturday.

According to a plan launched by Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, Egypt hopes to welcome some 14 million tourists in 2011, requiring a capacity of 240,000 hotel rooms, compared with 11 million in 2007, MENA reported.

The minister said Egypt wants to attract private investors to fund the ambitious plan which also includes developing eco-tourism and medical tourism, limiting the government’s role to supervision and planning.

The plan sees the number of hotel nights spent in Egypt reaching 140 million in 2011, compared with 112 million in 2007.

Tourism accounts for almost 20 percent of Egypt’s foreign currency revenue.