Pictures of Sharm el-Sheikh show town abandoned by tourists in wake of Sinai plane crash

The impact of the plane crash is a 'blow' to local people who rely on the hospital industry, ministers have said

Jess Staufenberg
Monday 09 November 2015 19:16
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The walking area of Naama bay is seen nearly empty
The walking area of Naama bay is seen nearly empty

Normally busy with European holidaymakers seeking winter sun, Sharm el-Sheikh appears to have been left empty in a series of photographs of the Egyptian resort.

Thousands of people, mainly Britons and Russians, have already been evacuated from the area following the Sinai plane crash which killed all 224 people onboard.

Employees wait for customers at a cafe in Naama bay area at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 8, 2015.

With investigators saying they are "90 per cent sure" the Russian flight was brought down by a bomb while over the Sinai Peninsula, tourists fearing further terrorist attacks have fled the area - though with significant flight delays.

Egypt's advisor to the tourism minister, Mohamed Yousef, said Cairo regretted the suspension of flights and was doing all it could to secure its airports and tourist sites.

Mr Yousef called the loss of visitors a "blow" to the tourism industry.

“Russian tourists are ranked first with three million tourists per year. British – one million,” Mr Yousef said according to Al Ahram newspaper.

“Their leaving is a severe blow for the industry. The loss will be 70 per cent of the tourist influx.”

A vendor (front) and employees for excursion trips wait for customers in Naama bay area at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 8, 2015.

He added that a minister would fly to Sharm al-Sheikh to oversee measures to support tourists there.

Tourism makes up 11.3 percent of GDP in Egypt and provides for about 14 percent in the country’s revenue in foreign currencies, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

In June this year, a fundamentalist carried out shootings on tourists at the Tunisian resort of Sousse, killing tens of people and again harming tourism there.

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