Egypt tourist arrivals rise 9% in the first half of 2015

Sami Mahmoud, head of the Tourism Promotion Authority, said that a 9 percent increase in the amount of incoming tourists has been registered in Egypt during the first half of this year.
Terrorist incidents in the Middle East have had a significant impact on tourism, as tour companies avoided organizing trips to the region, he added, stating that the authority had tasked its foreign offices with following up on the reaction of tour companies and monitoring the media coverage of the events in Egypt, especially after the assassination of Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat.
Israel, Turkey, the Canary Islands, Morocco and Dubai benefit from the recession of tourism in Egypt, according to Mahmoud.
Egypt has not received so far any official letters relating to canceling reservations, Mahmoud said, pointing out that the summer bookings are going well, especially with regard to Arab tourists.
The events in Sinai will not have a negative impact on tourism, as there is already a travel ban to that region, which is not frequented by tourists anymore. The crisis lies in the way the media covers the events, Mahmoud added.
A report on the impact of the assassination of the top prosecutor, bombings, and the North Sinai confrontations on the tourism sector is being prepared, in order to develop an action plan to confront the crisis.
Sources within the tourism sector in Sharm al-Sheikh and Hurghada said the average hotel occupancy during the first half of the holy month of Ramadan is usually close to 40 percent.
Currently, hotel occupancy in Hurghada and Sharm al-Sheikh is close to 100 percent, and the average price of a night in a hotel during the Eid holiday will reach LE2,000, the sources added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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