The head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, Hisham Ali, said that occupancy rates increased during the last period—reaching about 40%—with expectations of a further rise with the resumption of Russian and British flights to the region.
During his participation in the ITB Berlin Convention, Ali told Daily News Egypt in a phone interview that the German decision to lift its travel ban on Egypt contributed to increasing foreign tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh in February.
The total hotel capacity in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh is at about 33,000 rooms, representing 50% of the capacity of South Sinai.
Russia had suspended its flights to Egypt in the beginning of November 2015, after the crash of a Russian airliner, followed by Britain halting its flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.
Ali said that Russian, English, and German tourism represent a large proportion of inflows annually, adding that the Germans are back, but the sector is awaiting the return of the Russians and British.
More than 80 hotels and companies from different Egyptian tourism destinations are taking part in the ITB Berlin Convention this year.
Ali stressed that Sharm El-Sheikh is ready for the return of tourists from around the world.
He pointed out that the government recognises the importance of tourism to support the economy, which is strongly backed to recover again and return to the same indicators from 2010, in which the sector achieved 14.7 million tourists.
Russian officials have noted that flights to Egypt will soon be resumed after the completion of 90% of the security requirements at airports.
Tourism inflows to Egypt from Germany declined last year to 655,000, down from 1 million tourists in 2015, due to a travel ban posed on visiting Sharm El-Sheikh.
Ali noted that German tourists visit Egypt several times, with an average of 5-7 nights per visit and over $80 spent per day.
He expressed his hope that occupancy will increase in April to more than 60%, with the celebrations of the spring and the return of Russian tourists.