May 18, 2024

Tourism in Egypt’s South Sinai suffers brunts of Hamas-Israel war

About 20 per cent of visitors have cancelled their reservations in South Sinai.

It a province and home to some of Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

It is due to concerns over the spillover of the violence, a tourism official said.

The Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip, which erupted on October 7, has had a considerable impact on tourism in Egypt.

Particularly South Sinai towns of Taba, Dahab, and Sharm el-Sheikh city had the worst impact.

Hussein Mohamed, supervisor of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities offices in South Sinai province said this.

The province, which accounts for 32 per cent of Egypt’s total tourism bookings, was a popular tourist destination for Israelis. But since the conflict began, all flights from Israel to the area have halted. A news agency quoted Mohamed as saying.

The official noted that once Egypt restored its reputation as a safe tourist destination, European cancellations would decrease.

In addition, Egypt seeks to lure tourists from the Gulf states who prefer to spend their vacations in Turkey, he added.

Abdullah Bastawy, the manager of a hotel in Taba, said the Israeli tourists constituted 70 per cent of their occupancy rate before the war.

But many reservations, including from Israelis, were cancelled following the raging conflict.

The tourism industry is a key source of foreign currency for Egypt.

According to data released by the Central Bank of Egypt on October 5, the country’s tourism revenue hit a record high of $13.6 billion in the fiscal year 2022-2023.

This ends in June, up by about 27 per cent from $10.7 billion in the previous year.

In late October, Egypt offered a four-month package of incentives to some tourist destinations.

This includes $500 per flight landing in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said this.

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