Tourism Minister Hesham Zaazou announces that Egypt will suffer an income loss of LE 2.2 billion a month due to UK and Russian flight suspensions.
It is well understood that the recent downing of a Russian plane in Sinai would devastate tourism in Egypt, and today we finally hear an official estimate on the income losses expected to reach 2.2 billion Egyptian pounds a month.
On Wednesday, Egypt Tourism Minister Hesham Zaazou announced that he expects losses of 2.2 billion a month. It is unclear exactly how the minister came up with the estimate, however he points to the fact the losses reflect recent decisions made by several airline to suspend flights to the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheik.
Within days and for some countries within hours, a decision was made that it was unsafe to travel over Sinai, resulting in cancellations of flights. The most damaging losses are expected from both Britain and Russia’s decisions to suspend flights, as they account for a large portion of tourists travelling to the Red Sea resort.
The cancellations of flights instantly caused a panic, as many tourists were stranded unsure of when they would be able to return to their home countries. After days of confusion, thousands of tourists have managed to make it back home leaving Sharm appearing like a ghost town.
As is stands most governments have expressed their belief that the plane was taken out by a bomb, however Egypt continues to dismiss the claims saying that the investigation is ongoing and that they refuse to rush to a conclusion. Either way bomb or no bomb the damage to tourism is done, the only question is how long will flight suspensions last?