CAIRO: Some 824 tourists from different countries arrived at Sharm al Sheikh Airport Friday aboard eight international flights, head of South Sinai’s task force Essam Khedr was quoted by Youm7 Saturday.
The airport also received 17 domestic flight carrying 1,024 Egyptians who spend the mid academic year vacation, Khedr said, adding that occupancy rate at Sharm al-Sheikh hotels reached 22 percent, according to Khedr.
Following the Oct. 31 Russian airliner 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.
”The figures of holidaymakers arrival to Egypt does not mean the tourism industry is not badly affected by the plane crash. It simply means most of those who are still arriving to Hurghada and Sharl al-Sheikh may have not been able to cancel their confirmed bookings,” a tourism manager in a Sharm al-Sheikh travel agency told The Cairo Post.
Egypt’s political turmoil following the 2011 January uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has badly affected tourism sector, which has only recently started to rebound. 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.
Egypt’s tourism authorities said in late December that the country received 9 million tourists in 2015, down from a previously predicted 17 million.
The country’s revenues from tourism industry decreased by 15 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, said tourism ministry economic advisor Adala Ragab in October.