Hotel occupancy rates in Egypt have steadily increased since the January 25th revolution although new research suggests that these increases have not been unilateral as the Red Sea beach resorts have gained a greater share of the tourism market.

Since the revolution Cairo hotel occupancies are fairly low compared to the Red Sea resorts such as Hurghada and Sahl Hasheesh, which have been up over 70 percent since August.

According to Angus Blair, head of research at Beltone, a Cairo brokerage, people are going to the city for business but hotels in Cairo have low occupancy rates. However he stated tourists are still visiting the country’s Red Sea resorts for a holiday despite the political uncertainties, “People are differentiating.”

Tourism is a pillar of the Egyptian economy and according to the World Travel and Tourism Council the industry contributed 17.5 percent to Egypt’s gross domestic product last year. The industry has been predicted to contribute 16 percent this year despite a fall in tourists due to a tough year.

Jan Pawel Hasman, vice-president of investment house EFG-Hermes, revealed since August occupancy in the Red Sea resorts has been over 70 percent and this percentage has been confirmed by various ministerial officials.

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts are a safe place to visit and tourists are flocking to the area to enjoy a bit of sun. Egypt’s tourism authority recently revealed 2.7 million people visited Egypt in the third quarter of 2011, half a million more than the second quarter.

Egypt is now holding elections which have so far ran smoothly, resulting in shares jumping 5.5 percent after peaceful polling. It is the biggest rise in two years and there are high hopes that the transfer from the ruling military council to the new government will run successfully.

It is a testing time for Egypt, but investors are optimistic that the country has a bright future.

Neil Hollingsworth, Senior Manager at Rivermead Global commented “I visit Egypt approx every 6 weeks and I have not seen any trouble in Hurgahda or Sahl Hasheesh, in Feb 2011 it was very quiet but on my last trip in Oct 2011 numbers were back to normal”.

Source: Financial Times