Over 72,000 Russian tourists flown out of Egypt following Sinai crash: Russian Tourism Agency
Ahram Online, , Tuesday 17 Nov 2015

Over 72,000 Russian tourists have been airlifted from Egyptian resorts in the aftermath of the Russian plane crash over Sinai on 31 October, the Russian Tourism Agency was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram Arabic website on Tuesday.

Russian officials said on Tuesday that the plane crash, which killed all 224 mostly Russian people on board, was caused by a bomb, though Egyptian authorities are yet to confirm the announcement.

Russia, the biggest exporter of tourists to Egypt, suspended its flights to the country earlier this month in response to the crash.

Some 80,000 Russian tourists who have been in Egypt since the beginning of this month are expected to remain until the end of their planned vacations, Arkady Dvorkovich, deputy chairman of the Russian government was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Sputnik. No other Russians will be expected to visit the country once the remaining tourists leave, reported Sputnik.

The ailing tourism sector is one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency, of which the country is in dire need to buy basic foodstuff and fulfil its international obligations.

Foreign currency reserves are almost at a critical level, standing at $16.41 billion at the end of October.

In the first eight months of this year, Egypt received 6.6 million tourists, according to the state-run statistic body CAPMAS.

Egypt's tourism revenues surged 45.3 percent to reach $7.4 billion in the fiscal year ending 30 June 2015, compared to $5.1 billion in the same period the previous year, according to the central bank.