Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said the government will announce additional security measures to protect tourists. He made the announcement after an attack at a resort in Hurghada left three tourists injured, according to a statement Saturday.
Suspected militants wounded two Austrian nationals and a Swedish tourist at the Bella Vista Hotel in Hurghada Resort Friday evening.
“The welfare of tourists visiting Egypt is of the greatest importance to us and will continue to be so”, Zaazou said. “Over the upcoming days, we will announce even greater security measures to safeguard all tourists visiting Egypt.”
The Ministry of Interior said in an official statement that one of the assailants, Mohamed Hassan Mahfouz, 21, had been killed in gunfire with the hotel’s security. The other armed men were severely injured by security forces during the pursuit that followed the attacks.
Bella Vista Hotel administration said in a statement Saturday that the incident occurred briefly, taking no more than four minutes, and denied media reports claiming otherwise. The hotel called these media reports “propaganda that will affect the tourism in Egypt.”
“Two drugged young men attacked one of our hotel restaurants,” the administration stated on its Facebook page.
The statement recounted the attack, describing the attackers as armed with knives and fake gun and having stabbed three of the guests.
Russia issued a statement Saturday condemning the attack and stressing their support of Egypt’s efforts to combat extremism.
“Moscow condemns the criminal actions against a hotel in Hurghada. We firmly support the Egyptian government and the country’s law enforcement agencies in firmly resisting extremists of all kinds,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Russian ministry said there are currently no organised Russian tours in Egypt. Moscow suspended flights between both countries following the downing of a commercial Russian aeroplane in Sinai on 31 October that killed all 224 Russian passengers and crew on board.
Following the attack, Germany advised its citizens in Hurghada not to go on any day trips from the resort on Saturday and advised them to remain alert.
Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) Elhamy El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt in December that after five years of continuous crisis, which began with the 25 January Revolution in 2011, the tourism sector is waiting for the “mercy of the sky” in order to recover.
El-Zayat said Egypt’s tourism revenue in 2015 was below $6bn, which marked a decrease in $1.5bn from the reported revenue of 2014.