When it comes to tourism, 2023 is expected to be a big year for Egypt.
The country has already welcomed over 7 million tourists into the country, and it shows no sign of slowing down, as this number is expected to hit 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 landmarks, and stunning natural landscapes, those aren’t the only things attracting 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’s becoming even more affordable as the value of the Egyptian Pound slowly plummets. It has depreciated more than 20% since the start of the year.
For this reason, travelers can take advantage of the low prices, which are far cheaper compared to many popular Western countries and vacation destinations. According to BudgetYourTrip.com, the average cost of a one-week trip clocks in at 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 from 180 countries (including the US, UK, and Canada) can stay for up to 90 days at a time, although they can enter and leave the country as many times as they want.
These nationalities previously could enter as a tourist on a 30-day visa on arrival. However, a 5-year multiple-entry option is more enticing for those who want to explore the country in more depth.
3. It’s More Credit Card-Friendly
If you’re worried about the currency rate or exchanging money abroad, then 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 becoming increasingly more 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, like the pyramids, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the Salah Eddin al-Ayyubi Citadel.
4. There are Nile Cruises
After the 2022 blockbuster Death on the Nile, more travelers are eager to set sail down Africa’s longest river. While there are many cruise options, the brand-new Viking Anton is one of the newest and most luxurious boats to open in 2023.
The 12-day trip (which is owned and operated by Viking River Cruises), is a round-trip exploration that visits Cairo, Luxor, Qena, Esna, Aswan, Edfu, and more. It’s a great experience to see ancient and modern Egypt all at once.
5. The Grand Egyptian Museum is Opening
The Grand Egyptian Museum is slated to open at the end of the year, at which it will become the largest archaeological museum complex in the world. It will contain over 100,000 artifacts, including King Tutankhamun’s entire treasure collection.
The museum is currently being built in Giza, approximately 1.2 miles from the iconic Giza pyramids.
6. It’s Safe
Despite the US Department of State’s Level 3 warning for Egypt, the country remains a relatively safe destination for tourists – as long as they avoid the Sinai Peninsula (except for Sharm El-Sheikh) and the Western Desert.
Popular areas like Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada are okay for tourists to visit. The only major threats to tourists are petty theft and scammers.
7. There are New Flight Routes
Flying into Egypt has never been easier. More Americans are now able to fly directly into the country thanks to the new EgyptAir Newark to Cairo route that was launched in June 2023.
They also recently announced a 5X-weekly service from Cairo to Manchester, which is the only direct UK-to-Cairo route outside of London. In addition to the new US and UK routes, they will also be adding direct flights to Cairo from Delhi, India and Bangladesh later this year.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com