0% occupancy rate at 70 Red Sea hotels: minister
Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou - YOUM7

CAIRO: A total of 25 hotels were shut down in Egypt’s resort cities of Sharm al Sheikh and Hurghada while occupancy rate at 70 others stood at 0 percent in the wake of the Russian plane crash, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou told Youm7.

Speaking at a conference held by the Egyptian Travel Writers Association (ETWA) Monday, Zaazou revealed part of the government’s plan to tackle the issue and revive the country’s tourism industry.

“The government, in cooperation with some Arab investors and the private tourism sector, is currently in the process of establishing a global marketing company to promote tourism in Europe,” said Zaazou.

The minister also praised the decision of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to form a ministerial committee for tourism that aims at tackling the sharp decline in numbers of tourists visiting Egypt since the Russian airliner crisis.

“A of total 2.4 million Russian tourists visited Egypt in 2015, down from 3.1 million in 2014. The sharp decrease is caused by consequences of the Russian airliner that crashed over Sinai late October 2015,” Tourism Ministry’s economy adviser Adela Ragab was quoted by Youm7 Friday.

The crash also caused a 4 percent decrease in number of British tourists visited Egypt in 2015 while the number of German tourists who visited Egypt in 2015 increased by 16.4 percent, registering 1.2 million up from 877,000 in 2014, according to Ragab.

Following the Russian plane crash that killed 224 passengers and crew late October, Germany, Russia, France and the UK ordered the evacuation of their tourists from the resort town and suspended flights to Sharm-el-Sheikh after reports that a bomb may have been the cause.

Egypt’s revenues from tourism dropped by 15 percent in 2015, registering $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.)

Tourism revenues dropped during December 2015 by 52 percent compared to that of January 2015, Youm7 quoted Adla Ragab, the economic advisor for Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou.

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