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Russia tourist company announces it is resuming flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts

A picture taken on September 29, 2021 shows Russian tourists in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on September 29, 2021 shows Russian tourists in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Russian tourist company Biblio-Globus has announced that it is resuming flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh after they ceased due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Al-Arabiya.

In the days following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, thousands of tourists from the two countries were stranded in hotels in the popular Red Sea resorts in Egypt.

At the beginning of the conflict 11,000 Ukrainians were in Sharm and 9,000 in Hurghada. There were thought to be tens of thousands of Russians as flights were suspended and credit cards ceased to function as Visa withdrew from Russia.

Egypt allowed empty Russian planes to land and take stranded tourists home and arranged for flights for Ukrainians to Poland and other countries that had opened their borders to them.

READ: Rising bread prices, water scarcity and a climate crisis. Egypt is on the brink.

With an economy already at rock bottom, the loss in revenue from the Russian invasion stoked fears in Egypt which has already seen its valuable tourism sector decimated by the 2011 revolution, the 2013 coup and the 2015 terror bombing of a Russian passenger jet in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The tourism industry saw revenues drop $9 billion in 2020 because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Tourism makes up roughly 12 per cent of Egypt's GDP.

It is estimated that Russian and Ukrainian tourists make up around 40 per cent of the total number of tourists who visit Egypt, and by February this number had already started to wane as news of a potential conflict spread.

The Egyptian government asked two- and three-star hotels to allow guests to stay for free and for expensive resorts to give a discount. Hotel owners were only given $10 compensation per night.

Egypt has since worked at bringing tourists from Western Europe, Hungary and Gulf countries, Egypt's deputy tourism minister has said, though an increase in fuel prices has made flights and tourism packages more expensive.

In early March Russia's tourism ministry was in talks with UK tourist representatives to attract more Brits to visit Egypt.

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AfricaEgyptEurope & RussiaNewsRussiaUkraine
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