CAIRO: Some 1,024 tourists of different nationalities arrived at Sharm al Sheikh Airport Saturday aboard nine international flights, head of South Sinai’s task force Essam told Youm7 Sunday.
The airport also received 11 domestic flights carrying 729 Egyptians visiting Red Sea resorts during the mid school year vacation, Khedr said, adding that occupancy rate at Sharm al-Sheikh hotels reached 25 percent.
A total 2,024 tourists departed the airport Saturday, said Khedr. Resorts at South Sinai have received 415 tourists from Eilat through Taba border land crossing, he added.
The above figures represents more than an 80 percent decline compared to any period before November 2014, Khedr said, pointing out that “the sharp decline is caused by the travel ban imposed by Russia and some other European countries to Egypt following the Russian airliner crashed over Sinai late October.”
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.
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.
The sector, which is the nation’s second highest 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.