Israeli tourism companies cancel reservations in wake of Sinai killings

The attack on an Egyptian security checkpoint near the Israeli border late Sunday that left 16 officers dead has already impacted Egypt’s tourist flow, said Nagui Erian, deputy chairman of the Egyptian Hotels Association.

Erian said some tourist groups have either canceled or called off their reservations, describing the situation as catastrophic for the current active tourist destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh and the Red Sea.

Sherif Bahaa Eddin, a marketing manager at a five-star hotel, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that some hotels had received cancellation notices from Israeli tourism companies following warnings by Israeli websites against visiting the Sinai Peninsula, especially after the Sunday attack.

An official statistic by the Tourism Ministry, meanwhile, have highlighted a drop in incoming Israeli tourists by 35 percent, and set hotel occupancy rates in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday at 65 percent.

However, Osama al-Ashry, undersecretary of the Tourism Ministry and director of the hotels and resorts control department, said the department had not yet been officially informed of any cancellation of reservations.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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