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Egypt tourism will grow despite recent shark attacks

The Minister of Tourism for Egypt, Zoheir Garranah, has announced that travellers will once again be able to take Egypt holidays to the Sharm El Sheikh resorts as beaches reopen after a series of viscous shark attacks.

Egypt tourism will grow despite recent shark attacks

Travellers are being reassured that they will once again be able to take their Egypt holidays to the Sharm el Sheikh resort after a series of rare shark attacks left four tourists injured and one woman dead.

The Minister of Tourism, Zoheir Garranah, announced that half of the beaches are now open and travellers are being encouraged to go ahead with their Sharm el Sheikh holidays so that the resort can recover from the drop in tourism.

Garranah said: "We're seeing there's a slowdown in bookings, but not a frightening figure. It has to be dealt with."

Despite the recent decline in tourists staying in Egypt hotels and resorts due to the shark attacks, tourism growth targets on are on track with the number of tourists taking Egypt holidays up until November increasing by 17.5 per cent in 2010 compared to the same time last year.

Numbers of visitors to Egypt are expected to hit 14.7 million – 14.6 million by the close of 2010 with $12.6 billion in revenues.

Over the past two weeks, four tourists have been attacked by sharks whilst scuba diving and swimming, and last week a 70-year-old German tourist lost her life after being attacked by a shark whilst snorkelling.

It's not unusual to find sharks in the Red Sea but it is unusual for the creatures to swim inland to the shores or so many attack people in such a short space of time.

"It's not normal. There is something that happened", Garranah commented.

Scientists, who were flown in by request of the Egypt government, are also baffled about the high number of recent attacks. They believe it could be down to a number of reasons including a cargo ship which has recently illegally dumped animal carcasses into the sea near the beach, giving sharks easy access; warmer sea temperatures; and the fish and shark feeding which is ecologically disruptive to marine life.

Government officials are now considering implementing patrol boats, specially-trained lifeguards and stricter enforcement and penalties on feeding bans.

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