The German foreign ministry lifted travel warnings for the city of Sharm El-Sheikh Tuesday, according to Chairman of the International Tourism Sector and the Tourism Activation Authority Ahmed Shoukry. He added that other European countries are considering lifting their warnings as well in light of Germany’s decision.
Germany is one of Europe’s largest markets feeding tourism in Egypt, along with Britain, France and Italy, according to Shoukry.
Germany sent the second highest number of tourists to Egypt last year with 850,000 Germans visiting the nation, resulting in $600m in profits, according to Shoukry.
Egypt witnessed a decline in tourism income last year to $5.9bn, a 41% decrease from 2012.
According to a statement issued by the tourism ministry Tuesday, Germany’s lifting of the travel warnings will help restore tourism traffic in Egypt throughout 2014.
Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou described the German foreign ministry’s decision as a step on the right path to revive tourism, calling for all European countries to follow Germany’s lead and lift travel warnings to Sharm El-Sheikh.
The Ministry of Tourism has been in continuous contact with all European nations to lift the travel warning to Sharm el-Sheikh, Shoukry said.
He expects the remainder of European countries to lift their warnings this week.
According to the Chairman of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai Hisham Aly, the removal of the warning will increase occupancies throughout the coming winter.
Occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh is currently estimated at 40%, according to Aly, who added that most visitors are from Eastern Europe.
According to the Chamber of Hotels, hotels in South Sinai have a capacity of 62,000 rooms, which represent 33% of the total hotel capacity in Egypt of 225,000 rooms.