Tourist occupancies in Sharm El-Sheikh remain at the same level recorded last week, according to an official with the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels. He explained that average occupancy rates currently stand at 55%.
He added that traffic in Sharm El-Sheikh airport has remained steady since the beginning of the week with no declines recorded due to the militant attacks in North Sinai on 24 October that left at least 30 military personnel dead.
South Sinai has 62,000 rooms, which represents 33% of Egypt’s total hotel capacity, according to the Hotels Chamber.
Sharm El-Sheikh holds about two-thirds of South Sinai’s hotel capacity and is one of the areas frequently visited by tourists in Egypt, according to the official.
The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the South Sinai governorate, installed surveillance devices in the area at the beginning of this year directly following the bombing of a tour bus near Taba.
“Tourist occupancies are moving upward,” claimed Hisham Aly, head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai. He added that the largest proportion of tourists comes from Eastern Europe, especially Russia.
Egypt’s strong presence in the London World Travel Market conference (WTM), held the beginning of this month, will exert a significant positive impact on British tourism to the area beginning next year, according to Aly.
The number of British tourists visiting Egypt during last year reached 995,000, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
Daily News Egypt reported last week that the ministry aims to attract one million British tourists by the end of this year, and it is hoped that tourism traffic indicators are restored to 2012 levels.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt last year reached 9.5 million compared to 11.5 the year before.
Tourism revenues declined to $5.9bn during 2013 with a 41% drop from revenues over 2012.
“The British market is one of the most important markets exporting tourism to Egypt” said Ahmed Balbaa, Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association.
He believes that British tourists are the best in terms of repeated visit rates, adding that British customers own residency units worth more than £150m.