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Holidays to Sharm el Sheikh ‘on the up’

Holidays to Sharm el Sheikh ‘on the up’

After something of a tough year for Egypt’s tourism industry following civil unrest in parts of the country this summer, holidaymakers are once again booking trips to the country’s most popular resorts as confidence starts to return.

Red Sea destinations, which remained largely unaffected by the political protests which took place earlier this year, still felt the impact and waned a little in popularity as holidaymakers were understandably cautious about travelling to the country.

But things are changing and bookings to a range of Egypt holiday spots, in particular holidays to Sharm el Sheikh, are on the up as holidaymakers feel comfortable staying at Red Sea resorts and operators slash prices to encourage last-minute bookings.

Sharm, a beautiful coastal which skirts the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, has seen foreign tourism rates start to improve in recent months.

A report from the Chamber of Hotel Establishments in South Sinai shows that most hotels in Sharm were filled to capacity during the festival of Eid al-Adha, with Mohsen Aziz, who runs a tourist resort in the Red Sea resort, telling that occupancy reached 70% for the first time in nearly two years.

Hazem Beblawi, Egypt’s interim prime minister, recently visited Sharm where he launched a tourist project in the resort, underlying the safety of Red Sea tourist destinations to holidaymakers.

“All Egyptian tourist destinations are ready to welcome foreign visitors,” he said.

UK operators are also seeing the positive effect. a1 Travel, for example, has seen bookings to Sharm spike in recent months, driven by cheap flights and attractive hotel rates.

A flight to Sharm in early December this year, for example, will cost £146. Last year, it would have cost £277, according to the firm.

Hoteliers in the resort, meanwhile, have reduced their rates by more than 60% and started to offer lots of attractive upgrades, such as a sea view and late checkout, as standard.