One of the two delegations from top Russian media representatives inspecting tourism facilities at Red Sea resorts on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet)
Two delegations of top Russian media representatives arrived at Egypt's Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh cities on Wednesday to inspect the health and safety regulations in the two Red Sea resorts, a statement by Egypt's tourism ministry read.
The Sharm El-Sheikh delegation was welcomed by South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda and head of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority Ahmed Youssef.
The delegations visited several hotels, talked to hotel employees, and inspected the precautionary measures in tourist facilities, the statement added.
One of the two delegations from top Russian media representatives talking to a Russian tourist during their inspection tour on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet)
They also spoke with a number of Russian tourists who said they were pleased to return to Egypt, the statement noted.
The delegations’ visit follows the arrival of four Russian flights in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada in the past two days after a six-year suspension of direct flights from Russia to Egyptian Red Sea resorts was lifted by Russian authorities last month.
The visit is meant to promote Egypt's tourist and archaeological destinations, the statement said.
One of the two delegations from top Russian media representatives interviewing an employee at one of the Red Sea hotels during their inspection on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet)
"The visit will attract more media attention to Egypt's tourist hotspots and thus increase the influx of Russian tourists," said Maged Abu Sedira, head of the Central Department of Foreign Tourism at the Egyptian Tourism Authority.
In April 2018, Russia resumed flights to Cairo International Airport, ending a 30-month suspension, but the Russian ban on flights to Egypt's Red Sea destinations was only lifted last month, as per Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree.
The number of Russian tourists who had visited Egypt in 2014 was more than three million, according to the tourism ministry figures, representing 33 percent of all tourists that year.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said the resumption of flights from Russia to Red Sea resort cities is a “very positive” step, affirming that coordination is underway to increase the number of direct weekly flights – currently standing at 12 – between the two sides.
“With the preventive measures adopted at Egyptian airports, clinics, and hospitals and the rich experience of our colleagues working at the resorts of touristic governorates, the number [of tourists] will increase,” the minister said in remarks to Sada El-Balad satellite channel.
The ministry will take legal action against tourist facilities that do not adhere to the coronavirus preventive measures and jeopardise the livelihoods of more than one million people working in the tourism sector, El-Enany asserted.