Tourism occupancies decreased again in the Red Sea, South Sinai and Alexandria following the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, according to Vice President of Egypt’s Chamber of Hotels Hany Al-Shaer. Al-Shaer added that occupancies in South Sinai are currently just over 45%, 60% in the Red Sea and 70% in Alexandria.
Occupancies for hotels in coastal areas increased during the holiday to more than 80%, said Al-Shaer, as many Egyptians left their homes to spend Eid Al-Fitr elsewhere.
Al-Shaer said Alexandria and the North Coast make up many Egyptians’ favourite vacation areas, both because of their proximity to Cairo and their connection to a strong transportation network, unlike other tourist cities that are a distance of more than 250 kilometres from Cairo.
Occupancies in Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai decreased to 45% following the holiday, said Hesham Aly, President of the Tourism Investors Association of South Sinai. He added that “the majority of current guests are foreigners”.
The city of Sharm El-Sheikh is one of the largest tourism centres in South Sinai, home to 62,000 hotel rooms, or nearly 60% of the province’s hotel capacity.
Al-Shaer predicted that occupancies will increase to more than 80% in Sharm El-Sheikh and the cities of the Red Sea beginning in October for the winter season.
Aly said that occupancies increased after travel warnings to Sharm El-Sheikh were lifted by the majority of European countries mid-July.
Fifteen European nations imposed travel warnings for the Sinai Peninsula following the bombing of a tourist bus mid-February.
According to Ahmed Shoukry, head of the International Tourism Sector at the Tourism Activation Authority, Germany lifting its travel warnings for Sharm El-Sheikh will increase tourism to the city, as the nation represents a leading tourism market for Egypt.
According to Shoukry, a promotional campaign will be launched in Europe’s most important tourism markets in August with a particular focus on Germany, Italy, France and Britain.
European tourism to Egypt represents 72% of all tourism traffic annually.
In previous statements made to Daily News Egypt, Shoukry said that “promotional campaigns in the Arab Gulf increased tourism to Egypt by between 7-13%”.
Incoming tourism to Egypt fell during the first half of this year to 4.4 million tourists, representing a 25% drop from the same period last year.
“The winter season will be better than the summer,” said Samy Soliman, head of the Tourism Investors Association of Nuweiba-Taba. He added that occupancies currently range between 20-35% in Nuweiba-Taba.
According to Hany Gawesh, a member of the Association, prices did not change during the holiday break in Nuweiba-Taba, with one room for one individual costing between EGP 160-300 per night or $26 for foreigners.
Tariq Shalaby, Vice Chairman of the Tourism Investors Association of Marsa Alam, said that occupancies currently exceed 55% due to an increase in tourist traffic, especially because of a noticeable increase in Italian tourists, who he cited as the main guests in the area.