Domestic tourism booms in Egypt’s Luxor during mid-school year vacation
The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at the west bank of Luxor.

CAIRO: The occupancy rate at Luxor hotels has notably increased to 65 percent during the first week of mid-school year vacation, Head of tourism and antiquities police Hosny Hussein was quoted by Youm7 Friday.

A total of 1,488 rooms at the hotels and Nile cruises in the governorate are currently occupied by 523 tourists and 1,982 Egyptian families who preferred to spend the mid-school year vacation touring the city’s landmarks, said Hussein.

A total of 356 tourists have arrived at Luxor airport this week, he added. The occupancy rate at Luxor hotels stood at 17 percent during the last week of January.

Hussein said he hopes domestic tourism “would contribute to raising occupancy rates of hotels to compensate for the sharp decline in foreign and Arab bookings.”

Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Following the Russian plane crash that killed 224 passengers and crew late October, swift decisions were taken by a number of countries including Germany, Russia, France and the UK to evacuate their tourists from the resort town and suspend flights to Sharm-el-Sheikh after reports that a bomb may have been the cause.

However, Egypt says that an investigation into the incident has not yet decided the causes of the crash.

Number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped by 15 percent in 2015, registering only $6.1 billion, down from $7.4 billion in 2014, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in a press conference in January.

Revenues from tourism represent 11.3 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP.)

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