A total of 3,158 tourists coming from southern Israeli port of Eilat have arrived in Egypt’s South Sinai Saturday morning through the Taba border crossing, the head of South Sinai’s task force Essam Khedr told Youm7.
The tourists were escorted to their hotels in presence of Egyptian security forces, said Khedr, adding that most of the tourists will spend only one day enjoying diving activities before the head back through the same broder crossing later this day.
On Friday, Khedr announced some 1,158 tourists of various nationalities arrived at the Sharm al Sheikh Airport aboard 11 international flights.
He added that the average occupancy rate at Sharm al-Sheikh hotels on Friday reached 17 percent.
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 U.K. are among the states that 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.
Earlier this month, 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.