Egypt has made it to the top of the list of emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destinations for 2020, according to the results of annual travel trends released by the United States Tour Operators Associations (USTOA).
“Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA. “It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years,” resumed Dale.
Colombia and Croatia also made it to the top of the list alongside Egypt. Slovenia was ranked second and followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco and Ethiopia, according to an official statement from USTOA.
Meanwhile, Italy was predicted to be the most popular destination in 2020, with California securing first place as the most popular U.S travel spot. France topped the “hot destinations” list in 2020, followed by Spain, Greece and the U.S.
USTOA says that 82 percent of its board members predict a sales growth that ranges from seven to 10 percent by the end of 2020 across the globe, describing 2020 as a “boom year.”
The number of American tourists who visited Egypt in 2018 stood at 276,650, and the once ailing tourism sector is on its way to a full recovery.
According to official figures provided by The Independent, 11 million people visited Egypt last year. Moreover, the English newspaper has predicted an impressive comeback for the Egyptian tourism sector, especially given the resumption of flights to the South Sinai vacation spot Sharm El Sheikh.
The first UK flight to Sharm el-Sheikh since the 2015 ban landed last week at Sharm El-Sheikh International airport, following a four-year hiatus after a bomb exploded on a Russian plane flying over Egypt’s Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.
In another sign that tourism in Egypt is heading toward a remarkable recovery, Egypt recently topped Forbes’ “Where to Go Next” list, in which the world-renowned magazine recommended 27 countries for adventure-loving readers to visit in 2020.
Each country selected in the list was chosen by a traveler who roamed the world looking for his or her favorite destination. The list included The Greek Islands, recommended by traveler Becca Ingle, Rwanda, recommended by Nathalie DiScala, Brazil, recommended by Katie Jackson, and India, recommended by Teddy Minford, among others.
Egypt was chosen by Lexie Alford, who broke the Guinness World Record as the youngest traveler to visit all of the world’s 196 countries at the age of 21.
Discussing her recommendation to visit Egypt, the passionate young traveler began by briefing readers about her favorite spots in the country. Alford insisted that Egypt remains one of the most underrated countries for tourism, adding that it deserves more recognition while paying tribute to the country’s rich culture and well-preserved history.
Meanwhile, AFAR, an award-winning travel magazine, ranked Egypt fourth among the world’s 10 Fastest Growing Tourist Destinations in November 2019, with the country’s tourism sector having recorded a 36.8 percent increase. It was not the first time for the country to make an appearance in the magazine — Egypt topped AFAR’s rankings in 2018 when growth in the tourism sector reached 55.1 percent.
Egypt also topped The Independent’s new travel recommendations list for 2020 this month, with the newspaper urging people from around the world to pay a visit to Cairo’s much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum.