Monday, August 15, 2016

News: Egypt’s Red Sea Gem: Sharm El-Sheikh Grappling with Tourism Decline

While domestic and Arab tourism attempts to fill the void left behind by foreign travellers, the Red Sea resort city continues to grapple with the adjustment to tourism’s decline

The number of tourists visiting Egypt declined significantly following the crash of the Russian aeroplane in Sinai in late October 2015, which had a heavy negative impact on the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

The city, once the country’s tourism gem on Sinai’s Red Sea coast, has had to adjust to a significantly lower number of visitors, with many hotels shutting their doors and employees seeing a significant cut to their salaries.

The number of tourists coming to Egypt declined by 52% in the first half of the year, with a total of 2.3m tourists visiting compared to 4.8m tourists in the same period last year.

Daily News Egypt took a tour of Sharm El-Sheikh to observe the state of tourism in the resort city 10 months after the Russian aeroplane crash. To understand the status of the city, Daily News Egypt spoke to tourism sector employees, hotels, and shopkeepers to get a glimpse at the repercussions of dwindling tourism numbers.

Hotel employees: income declines as fewer tourists opt for Sharm El-Sheikh as a vacation spot                                                                                                           
The Russian aeroplane crash led to a severe decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting Sharm El-Sheikh, which pushed some hotels to lay off some of their employees. As a direct result, the 12% service charge that goes to hotel workers decreased and monthly tips declined by more than 50%.

Reception supervisor Eid Ibrahim said that the majority of hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh looked to lower their expenses by 50% under the losses in revenues they incurred in recent months.

He noted that all hotel departments are currently operating with just half the number of staff members, explaining that the average basic salary in the reception department starts at EGP 500 and goes up to EGP 900. Ibrahim noted that the 12% service charge currently ranges from 50 to 55 piasters per employee..... READ MORE

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