An official at the Ministry of Tourism said that tourism occupancy in the Red Sea governorate is expected to reach 60% over the Christmas holiday, due in part to an expected influx of eastern European tourists.
“We expect a high volume of tourists coming from Germany, the Ukraine, and Poland during the last days of December,” said the official.
Hotels in the Red Sea governorate represent roughly 35% of Egypt’s total hotel capacity, offering 225,000 rooms.
Hesham ElShaair, a member of the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels, said that the flow of tourists in the coming days will increase because of the expected increase in tourists from Germany and other European countries due to the recent implementation of new security measures at Egyptian airports.
He expects occupancy rates to surpass 60% in January, as western European tourists from France and Britain start visiting Egypt.
ElShaair explained that Britain had suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, but allowed flights to Hurghada to continue.
The British and Russian governments suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh after the Russian aeroplane crash in October 2015.
Tourism revenues in 2016 totalled $1.7bn during the first nine months of this year compared to $5.2bn during the same period in 2015.
ElShaair said that 2016 was a hard year on the tourism sector. “We expect the coming year to be better with the European companies’ desire to resume flights to Egypt again, especially from western European countries.”
The chairperson of the Tourism Committee of the Businesspeople Association, Ahmed Balbaa, said that Egypt is a unique tourist destination in the Mediterranean Sea region and possess great potentials compared to other countries.
Balbaa believes that despite the crisis experienced by the tourism sector over the past six years, there are great chances of recovery especially given that Egypt is a popular and affordable destination compared to other competing countries in the region.