Egyptian tourism suffers downturn

Tourism in Egypt is continuing to suffer at major attractions, with hotel occupancy in Luxor during the Easter peak season being recorded at just 17 percent.

The nation, which used to be a favourite haunt of European tourists due to its beach holidays, antiquities and much more, has seen its tourism suffer due to civil unrest, the recession in Europe and a number of other international and domestic factors. Most of the facilities, which were once fully booked, are now empty or close to empty. One example of this, The Old Cataract hotel in Aswan, which was a landmark destination for European travellers to Egypt, now stands almost empty. The tourism situation on the Nile is very similar. The river, which used to attract a large number of tourists during peak seasons, now has boat cruises that run with less than half occupancy.

The country’s ancient tombs, which used to have crowds queuing for entry, are now almost deserted and the queues have certainly diminished. Travellers that are still visiting the country can generally be selective over which of the poorly occupied hotels they stay at.

Tourism has declined following the civil war, and to make matters worse, February’s fatal hot-air balloon crash in Luxor was also body blow to the tourism industry. Tourists are also apprehensive with regards to the general lawlessness in the nation, and many have cancelled their proposed trips.

One sector that is still seeing close-to-brisk business is beach tourism. The Easter occupancy rate in these areas was more than 50 percent, and Hurghada and the mainland coastal resorts of El Gouna and Sahl Hasheesh reported higher turnouts.