1.2K tourists arrive in Sharm, push hotel occupancy rate to 18%
Tourists riding camels in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh - REUTERS

CAIRO: Some 1,295 tourists of different nationalities are scheduled to arrive at Sharm al Sheikh Airport Wednesday aboard eight international flights, head of South Sinai Task Force Essam Khedr told Youm7.

The airport also will receive 15 domestic flights carrying 927 Egyptians visiting the Red Sea resort city, Khedr said, adding that the average occupancy rate at Sharm al-Sheikh hotels on Wednesday ranges from 16 percent to 18 percent.

A total of 2,141 passengers are scheduled to depart the airport Wednesday, said Khedr. Resorts in South Sinai will receive a total of 78 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, the 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 November 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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