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Monday, 21 September 2020

Red Sea tourism begins to rebound

Red Sea a ray of light for Egypt’s battered tourism sector: A pick up in the number of tourists visiting Red Sea resorts has provided a ray of light for Egypt’s tourism industry which is struggling to recover from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. Tourism Minister Khaled El Enany revealed yesterday that some 250k tourists have visited Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada since commercial flights resumed in July, almost double the 126k people who had landed in the two Red Sea resorts and Matrouh by late August.

But let’s keep this in perspective: The number of tourists who have visited the Red Sea and South Sinai since 1 July is down more than 90% from last year’s levels, Deputy Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ghada Shalaby told Reuters. And although cultural tourism in Luxor and Aswan resumed earlier this month, it’s far from clear how long it will take for things to return to normal. A travel agent reported that only a few tour groups have been showing up to Luxor each day since sites reopened on 1 September. Hotels are still only allowed to operate at 50% capacity, placing a firm ceiling on how many tourists Egypt can accommodate while the pandemic spreads overseas. Last year, the number of tourists visiting Egypt hit a record high of 13 mn, but plummeted after the government suspended flights to prevent the spread of the virus.

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