Sharm El Sheikh is off the radar, says DMC

News World
Sharm El Sheikh is off the radar, says DMC

Meetings and event organisers have abandoned Sharm El Sheikh in the wake of the downing of a Russian passenger jet.

Metrojet flight 9268 from Sharm El Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai desert in 31 October killing 224 people.

The Russian Federal Security Service has said it is sure that it was a terrorist attack, caused by an improvised bomb containing the equivalent of up to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of TNT that detonated during the flight. The Russians said they had found explosive residue as evidence.

Karim El Minabawy, president at Emeco Travel DMC in Egypt, said the resort is no longer on the radar of meeting planners.

He said: “I can widely say that business was seriously affected and far more than expected. Following the stop of many airlines flying into Sharm, the occupancy rate at the hotels dropped from 55-65% to 20% and less in many hotels. Obviously Sharm is no longer in the radar. The cancellation of Russian flights or otherwise and the evacuation of many Russian has affected business beyond Sharm, such as Hurghada and Marsa Allam as well. While the understanding is that things will be better after the new year, we feel that such a situation might remain for longer period. Many attempts are currently being made by the government in the hope of a quicker recovery.”

Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign ministry has advised Turkish citizens against all non-urgent travel to Russia. The decision follows a worsening of relations between Ankara and Moscow after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian bomber over Syria.

Russia has announced economic sanctions on Turkey.

The measures affect commerce, transport and tourism, and include import restrictions on some Turkish goods, and a ban on Russian businesses hiring Turkish nationals.

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