Red Sea hotel occupancy hits 70% after lifting of European travel bans: Minister

Dalia Farouq, Ahram Online, Monday 14 Jul 2014

Now that Italy, Germany, and Denmark have rescinded their travel warnings, occupancy rates have exceeded 55% in Egypt's South Sinai

red sea
A general view showing a partially empty beach at a Red Sea resort in Egypt. Tourism in Egypt was hit hard in the aftermath of the 2011 popular uprising (Photo: AP)

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said on Sunday that the country's tourism sector was on its way to recovery now that Denmark, Italy and Germany had lifted their travel warnings on Egypt.

Zaazou said hotel occupancy rates had climbed to 70 percent on the Red Sea coast and exceeded 55 percent in South Sinai as a result. 

Last week, Germany and Italy decided to lift warnings previously issued to their nationals against travelling to Egypt’s South Sinai, including to the popular resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Fifteen nations had issued similar warnings following the bombing of a tourist bus in the South Sinai resort of Taba last February which killed three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver.

Egypt's tourism industry is a vital sector of the country's economy, contributing around 11 percent of the country's GDP.

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