According to a Ministry of Tourism official, the ministry has formed a chamber to follow up on European reactions in the wake of several European embassies in Cairo shutting down, citing “security reasons”.
The official said: “The ministry is working in parallel with the two ministries in order to understand the international reaction and to clarify Egypt’s intentions.”
The official, who requested anonymity, said the Ministry of Interior has demanded more security checkpoints near hotels downtown, particularly hotels close to Tahrir Square.
According to the official, last year, Canadian tourism did not exceed 60,000 visitors to Egypt last year. Some fear that other countries in Western Europe will follow the lead of these embassies.
He also claimed that reservations to Egypt were not cancelled this week in significant numbers, and the ministry hopes that there will not be any cancellations before Christmas.
According to the official, the Ministry of Interior secures hotels and touristic resorts in Sharm El-Sheikh at a cost of EGP 50m.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, South Sinai alone holds one-third of Egypt’s hotel capacity.
The Canadian and British embassies shut their doors to their citizens at the start of this week out of fear of violence in Egypt.
The official said that hotel occupancies in Cairo do not exceed 30. However, the situation is different in Sharm El-Sheikh, as stated by the Chairman of the Tourism Investors Association, Hesham Aly, because the situation is stable and tourism flow from these countries is normal.
Aly expected that tourism occupancies will increase to 70% due to increases associated with Christmas.
Last year, tourism income declined to $5.9bn, representing a 41% decrease over the previous year.
Hotel occupancies in Nuweiba and Taba average 30%, according to Hany Gawesh, member of the Tourism Investors Association in Taba and Nuweiba.
According to Gawesh, the warnings of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs affected North and South Sinai, with the exception of Sharm El-Sheikh.