Ain Sokhna’s reservations for New Year, Christmas to hit 95%: official
People play with a ball at the beach towards the end of summer vacation for schools, as a container ship crosses the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, in El Ain El Sokhna, east of Cairo, Egypt, September 5, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO: Hotel and resort reservations in Ain Sokhna town in Suez governorate ahead of New Year and Christmas occasions are expected to hit 95 percent, Mohamed Gouda, head of Tourism Ministry’s bureau in Suez told Youm7 Thursday.

The percentage is considered high compared to that of the past months, Gouda said.

He added that security situation in the governorate is “stable;” however, he noted that the cold weather and ongoing temperature variations have “negatively affected” the turnout reducing it by 50 percent during the first half of December.

While in the Red Sea resort, Christmas and New Year reservations thus far are close to “zero percent,” head of the Red Sea Hotels Chamber Soha el-Turgoman told Youm7 Thursday.

Turgoman said that the recent Paris attacks have adversely affected the rate of foreign tourists travelling to Egypt.

Egypt has recently launched a promotional campaign to court Arab tourists through developing special travel packages and competitive prices.

Influx of inbound tourists to Egypt was affected by a deadly crash of a Russian plane over Sinai in October, killing all 224 passengers on board, especially amid high speculations the crash was a terrorist attack by the Peninsula-based militants.

The accident was followed by several aviation suspensions from a number of European states to Egypt.

The total number of tourists visiting Egypt is expected to hit 9 million by the end of the year, recording a 47 percent decline from a previously expected figure for the influx amounting to 17 million.

Chairman of Egypt Tourism Authority (ETA) Sami Mahmoud referred in a Saturday press conference to “terrorist attacks and consequent travel advices issued by several European countries” as behind the decline.

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