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When it comes to tourism, 2023 is expected to be a big year for Egypt.
The country has already hosted more than 7 million tourists to the country, and it shows no signs of slowing down, as this number is expected to reach 15 million by the end of 2023. This is a drastic increase from the 11.7 million visitors that arrived in 2022.
While Egypt is known for vibrant cities, ancient monuments, and stunning natural landscapes, those aren’t the only things that draw tourists.
Here are 7 reasons why Egypt is more popular than ever:
1. It’s affordable
Egypt has always been an attractive country for budget travelers. But it is becoming even more affordable as the value of the Egyptian pound slowly plummets. It has depreciated more than 20% since the beginning of the year.
For this reason, travelers can take advantage of low prices, which are much cheaper compared to many popular Western countries and vacation destinations. According BudgetYourTrip.comthe average cost of a week long trip is just $181 per person (flights not included).
2. There is a 5-year visa
Egypt recently introduced a 5-year multiple-entry visa for foreigners, making it easier than ever for tourists and digital nomads to visit.
Citizens of 180 countries (including the US, UK and Canada) can stay up to 90 days at a time, though they can come and go as many times as they like.
These nationalities previously could enter as a tourist with a 30-day visa on arrival. However, a 5-year multiple entry option is more attractive to those who want to explore the country in more depth.
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3. It’s more credit card friendly
If you are worried about the exchange rate or money exchange abroad, this is good news for you.
In a country that has historically been cash only (only 2% of transactions in 2018 were with cards), it is increasingly common in Egypt to use credit cards to pay for hotels, restaurants and attractions.
Even the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities now uses a cashless system for ticketing. That means you can now use your bank card to purchase tickets to popular attractions, including the pyramids, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the Salah Eddin al-Ayyubi Citadel.
4. There are cruises on the Nile
After the 2022 blockbuster Death on the Nile more travelers are eager to set sail on Africa’s longest river. While there are many cruise options, the new Viking Anton is one of the newest and most luxurious ships due to open in 2023.
The 12-day voyage (owned and operated by Viking River Cruises) is a round-trip exploration visiting Cairo, Luxor, Qena, Esna, Aswan, Edfu and more. It is a great experience to see ancient and modern Egypt at the same time.
5. Inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open at the end of the year, at which time it will become the largest archaeological museum complex in the world. It will contain more than 100,000 artifacts, including the complete collection of King Tutankhamun’s treasures.
The museum is currently being built in Giza, approximately 1.2 miles from the iconic Giza Pyramids.
6. It’s safe
Despite the US State Department’s Level 3 warning for Egypt, the country remains a relatively safe destination for tourists as long as they avoid the Sinai Peninsula (except Sharm El-Sheikh) and the Western Desert.
Popular areas like Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada are fine for tourists to visit. The only major threats to tourists are petty theft and scam artists.
7. There are new flight paths
Flying to Egypt has never been so easy. More Americans can now fly directly into the country thanks to the new EgyptAir Newark to Cairo route that launched in June 2023.
They also recently announced a 5 times weekly service from Cairo to Manchester, which is the only direct route from the UK to Cairo outside of London. In addition to the new US and UK routes, they will also add direct flights to Cairo from Delhi, India and Bangladesh later this year.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com