Cairo airport receives 1,200 tourists Thursday
The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt. Monday Nov. 9. AP

CAIRO: Some 1,200 tourists of different nationalities arrived to the Cairo International Airport Thursday, a security source at the airport told Youm7 Friday.

A total of 750 tourists mainly from Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America regions arrived at the airport along with 350 Arab tourists mainly from the Persian Gulf region, said the source.

Egypt’s tourism sector has been suffering amid the political turmoil followed the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Number of tourists has dropped sharply during the past five years.

Hotels at Egypt’s Red Sea resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm al Sheikh have incurred losses estimated at 6 billion EGP ($750 million) since the crash of a Russian plane in late October, South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda said during in investment forum that kicked off in Sharm al Sheikh in January.

“The current crisis, reflected in the sharp decrease of tourists visiting Sharm al Sheikh, is the city’s worst ever,” he said.

Egypt’s second most important source of national income after the Suez Canal provides direct and indirect employment to up to 12.6 percent of the country’s workforce.

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

Tourism revenues dropped during December 2015 by 52 percent compared to that of January 2015, tourism ministry economic advisor Adala Ragab was quoted by Youm7 Thursday.

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

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