Egypt has welcomed seven million tourists in the first half of this year, putting the country on track for its projected 15 million visitors in 2023.

After reaching a record 13 million tourists and earning 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, Egypt’s tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week the country’s statistical arm, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, released figures from the 2021-2022 fiscal year, showing outstanding year-on- year growth. Egypt received 11.7 million tourists, up from eight million in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

While the number of tourists increased by more than 46 percent, revenues spiked 121 percent to amass 10.7 billion U.S. dollars for the North African state.

“The sharp drop in the Egyptian pound exchange rates to foreign currencies in addition to the economic recovery in developed countries following the Russia-Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 have helped to give tourism that push,” said Samar Adel, an economic researcher at Al Ahram Academy.