After three years of confusing travel rules, 2023 finally marked the comeback of tourism across the globe.
Throughout the year, we have seen a boom in bookings as travelers took to the skies in droves in search of that bucket list spot they could only dream about visiting a while back (but couldn't).
As per usual, Google has been tracking this fast-growing trend, and in the top ten of their ‘Year in Search' list, one country in particular was highlighted as the most sought-after destination in its own continent, as well as a cultural behemoth awaiting (re)discovery now that normality has resumed.
Egypt is the eighth most-searched country currently, and with record growth expected ahead of the annual round-up, it seems pretty safe to say it has been one of 2023's rising stars.
The question is: why?
Why Is Egypt So Popular In Google Searches Right Now?
A country as ancient as civilization itself, Egypt has been on the radar of Americans for years, and you know already why that may be.
It is the land of Pharaos, boasting unique landscapes, a fascinating culture, and a plethora of world wonders.
We won't bore you with yet another copy-and-paste article on the marvels of pyramid-dotted Egypt: there are plenty of those doing the rounds already.
Instead, we would like to divert your attention to why Egypt is trending right now, and posting record rates of growth in 2023 specifically, and what has changed compared to previous years.
In other words, why are more Americans taking the 11-hour-plus Transatlantic flight to Cairo when there is an exhaustive list of alternative destinations they could explore instead?
Egypt Was A Less Tense To Visit In 2023
First of all, if you've been to Egypt at all in the last two or three years, and you have returned yet again in 2023, you might have noticed the atmosphere is a lot less tense.
The pandemic has finally subsided, and the unfathomable sanitary controls that changed with little warning numerous times in the span of a single week no longer apply.
U.S. citizens – in fact, every other foreigner – can once again visit Egypt curb-free.
Other than the visa-on-arrival policy, a bureaucratic hurdle the Egyptian Government is yet to loosen, you are no longer required to satisfy health-related entry requirements, fill out complicated forms at the airport, or observe crazy rules while being a guest at a resort.
The return of normality is one reason why Egypt's soaring in popularity in 2023, but that is not all.
After all, every single country has axed restrictions as well, some much sooner than Egypt.
Is Egyptomania Back?
This brings us to reason number two, and perhaps the most important one of all: the renewed interest in cultural expeditions among Americans.
2023 has been the year of the culturephile, and the resurgence of South American colonial cities, off-path Europe, and mystical Southeast Asia as trendy tourism hotspots only go to show there are truly no limits as to how far Westerners will go to have more meaningful experiences when traveling.
In terms of cultural expeditions, Egypt is really a no-brainer.
Its History dates back several millennia, and some of the oldest structures created by man can be found within its borders, including the Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza, but these alone can't explain Egyptomania picking up steam this year specifically.
Instead, we must look at new developments that are fuelling more searches, and thus holiday bookings than the expected average, and the biggest one of them is the soon-to-be-launched Great Egyptian Museum, opening in early 2024.
20 years in the making, and to the tune of a billion dollars, this majestic center for the culture and sciences is finally bowing after much anticipation, presenting to the public for the first time a vast selection of artifacts that previously did not have a permanent home.
One of them is Tutankhamen's sarcophagus, its associated 5,000 artifacts that were unearthed when the legendary Pharao's tomb was discovered in the 1920s, a 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses the Great, and the relatively well-preserved sun-powered, 2,500-year-old Khufu ship.
Aside from the cultural stuff, a string of new hotel openings and experiences has improved Egypt's tourist offer this year, from a luxurious Four Seasons palace in Sharm El Sheik, the country's leading resort city, to the announcement of a new 282-key state-of-the-art Hilton in Marsa Alam.
Elsewhere along the Nile, cruise liner Viking has debuted one of its most remarkable products yet, the five-star Viking Aton river cruise, taking guests on a 12-day ‘Pharaos & Pyramids' adventure, starting with a three-night stay in Cairo before proceeding to an eight-day journey down the Nile.
Points of interest include the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, as well as its counterpart Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, visits to the Temples of Khnum, Dendera, Abu Simbel, and High Dam, and traditional Nubian villages.
All in all, it's an exciting period to visit Egypt, as the country is waking up from its pandemic slumber, and it has a number of tricks up its sleeve.
Did we mention already it even has its own Bali? Yep. Get those flight tickets right away.
Egypt Is Affordable By Western Standards
Finally, a huge part of why Egypt is racking up large arrival numbers is its high affordability.
For an all-expenses-paid vacation on the Red Sea coast, you will likely have to fork out at least a couple thousand dollars for a one-week stint at a resort, but for those on a budget and who are not necessarily looking to splurge on a vacation, they can definitely get by on a ‘mid' $361 for the week.
The figure is based on data gathered by Budget Your Trip, and includes acommodation, transport, food, and tourist attractions.
According to the platform, in the past travelers have spent on average $26 per day, or the equivalent in the local currency, when opting for a mid-range style of travel, or a very reasonable $68 when indulging in some luxury.
The average cost of an overnight at a budget hotel is $23, though it can be a lot more expensive depending on a traveler's preferences and whether they are the Four Seasons or family-owned, affordable neighborhood hotel type.
The point is that consumer prices in Egypt are typically lower for tourists due to the devalued currency, and that is why it won't weigh heavily on anyone's pockets, even if they are actively looking to spend more on comfort.
Egypt has made its mark in 2023 as one of the trendiest destinations of the post-pandemic scene, and based on Google searches alone, it could be set for a historical 2024.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations, and Q&A's happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.