CAIRO, January 19. /TASS/. Egyptian tour industry is suffering the heaviest losses over a period of twenty years, Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said on Monday.
A report the Ministry of Tourism released on the same day upon the results of 2015 said the tourist sector was losing $ 283 million monthly after the crash of the Russian A321 jet over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31.
After the A321 disaster and the suspension of Russian and British flights to Egypt in November and December the inflow of tourists to the Egyptian beach towns fell 50%, the report said. It put the losses of the tour industry at 10% versus 2014 and the shrinkage of revenues by 15%.
Minister Zaazou said the recent attack on foreign tourists in Hurghada did not have any major impact on the tourist sector as the situation in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh had already been difficult enough after the suspension of flights.
He believes about a twelve months will be needed to rectify the situation in general, mostly by building up an inflow of tourists from Arab countries, which may go up to 20% this year and 25% in subsequent years.
On the whole, some 9.3 million foreign tourists visited the Land of the Pharaohs in 2015 down 6% from 2014. The national budget received $ 6.1 billion from tourism, which is 15% less than in 2014.
Egypt hosted a record number of foreign visitors more than 14 million in 2010. Of that number, the Russians accounted for 3 million.
The Russian authorities passed a decision to suspend flights between Russia and Egypt temporarily after the October 31 crash of the Metrojet airline's A321 that killed all the 217 passengers and seven crewmembers aboard.
The Russian federal security service made public the information that the airliner had been brought down by the explosion of an improvised explosive device planted inside.