Hotel occupancy rates stabilised in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh during the first week of January settling at 45-50%, according to investors.
Investors said that the two cities are considered to have the highest hotel occupancy rates over the past 20 days due to high booking rates at the beginning of December.
Hisham Ali, head of the South Sinai Investors Association, said that reservations increased occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh during the last period to 50%.
The head of the Politician Investors Association believes that most guests are Egyptians, because hotel offers attracted primarily Egyptian families to spend the Christmas holiday there.
He expects an influx of foreign tourists to Sharm El-Sheikh during January, in light of the resumption of Germany’s flights to the region, as well as a tourist influx from eastern European countries, especially Poland and the Ukraine.
“We hope the current year will be better in terms of tourist influx coming to Egypt than last year,” the source said.
Inbound tourist traffic to Egypt during 2016 declined to 5.3 million tourists compared to 9.3 million tourists during 2015.
Sharm El-Sheikh accounts for 50% of the total capacity of hotels operating in South Sinai, which represent 69,000 hotel rooms, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels.
Mohamed Mahmoud, a manager at one of Sharm El-Sheikh’s hotels, said that the rate of Egyptian guests is higher than foreigners in Sharm El-Sheikh in light of the recent discounts offered by hotels to attract Egyptians.
He explained that hotels provided offers starting from EGP 300 to EGP 800 per night, despite the increased prices of food during the recent period.
Mahmoud added that occupancy will decline again over the next few days because the holiday period has ended. He expressed his desire to see European tourism increase over the next two months.
Hisham Al-Shaer, board member at Blue Sky Tourism Company, said that occupancy in the Red Sea city of Hurghada reached 45-50% last week.
He added that Hurghada is one of the best cities in the Red Sea province in terms of hotel occupancy.
The sector is optimistic about the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s procedures that are being implemented at Egyptian airports and the announcement of the return of Russian tourists to Egypt very soon.
Russian security officials visited Egypt at the end of December to inspect the ministry’s procedures.
An official at the Chamber of Hotels said that despite the improvement in occupancy rates in coastal areas and Red Sea hotels, rates are still modest in light of hotels’ inability to increase prices, in order to attract the largest possible numbers of local and foreign guests.
Tourists spend $50 per night in Egypt on average. Despite the price hikes, many believe the tourism situation is improving.