Tourist numbers rise


Some 474,000 people visited Egypt in December 2002, up from 422,000 in November, Egypt's central bank said in its monthly bulletin, issued on its website.

The December figure was also up from the 293,000 visitors who went to Egypt in December 2001, when the tourism sector was still suffering from the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Egypt's tourism sector, one of its main sources of revenue, was hit very hard after September 11, but has witnessed a rebound in recent months, reaching record levels in the summer of 2002.

The latest central bank statistics showed that visitors stayed an average of 6.4 nights in December, which was slightly down from 6.7 nights in November.

Tourism is one of Egypt's most vital foreign currency earners, apart from Suez Canal receipts and remittances from Egyptians working abroad and oil exports.