1.5k tourists arrive in Sharm al Sheikh; hotel occupancy rate reaches 20%
Tourists at the Luxor Temple - Courtesy of Scoopempire.com

CAIRO: Some 1,592 tourists of different nationalities are scheduled to arrive at Sharm al Sheikh Airport Sunday aboard 11 international flights, head of South Sinai Task Force Essam Khedr told Youm7.

The airport also will receive 13 domestic flights carrying 904 Egyptians visiting the Red Sea resort city, Khedr said, adding that the average occupancy rate at Sharm al-Sheikh hotels stood at 20 percent Saturday.

A total of 2,211 passengers are scheduled to depart the airport Sunday, said Khedr. Resorts in South Sinai will receive a total of 333 tourists from Eilat through the Taba border land crossing on Sunday, he added.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt has witnessed a sharp decline following the crash of a Russian airliner over Sinai late October killing all 224 passengers aboard. Germany, Italy, Russia, France, the UK are among other states decided to halt flights to and from Egyptian airports shortly after the crash.

British and Italian tourists account for over 65 percent of Sharm al Sheikh holiday makers, Tourism Ministry’s economy adviser Adela Ragab was quoted earlier by Youm7.

Last week, the UK-based Thomas Cook travel company cancelled all bookings to Sharm al-Sheikh until Nov. 2016, extending a travel ban that began when the government suspended flights following the crash.

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.

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