Tourists relax on Sharm El-Sheikh beach. Authorities say uptick in tourism bodes well for winter season (Photo: Reuters)
The Eid Al-Adha holiday has brought an upsurge in tourism for Egypt's Red Sea resorts, with many hotels in Hurghada completely full, according to an Egyptian tourism official.
Ahmed Mustafa Daa, head of a branch of the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Promotion, says that hotel bookings in the south Red Sea resort of Hurghada have climbed markedly on previous weeks.
He said Hurghada occupancy rates in the early November run-up to Egypt's five-day holiday weekend were around 75 per cent but by the first two days of Eid Al-Adha had reached 100 per cent.
Such rises were a good indicator for reservations for Egypt's vital winter season, which extends from November until April, Daa explained.
Arabs, Germans and Austrians make up the majority of tourists this month, he added.
South Sinai is also seeing a resurgence in tourism, according to Salim Saleh, head of the region's tourist promotional board.
The peninsula's major tourism draw, the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh, also saw occupany soar in the first week of November, he said; reaching 70 per cent in the days before Eid Al-Adha and climbing to 90 per cent for the festival itself.
Saleh said the increase in visitors, coming despite the country's ongoing upheaval, demonstrates the success of the tourism board's promotions.
He added that the tourism authorities have recently concluded an agreement with Turkish charter airline Sun Express, which will fly 26 weekly flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.
The first flights will begin in the third week of November and will help boost tourism to the city, Saleh said.