Egypt's Desperate Bid to Win Back Tourism

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With tourism figures drastically declining in Egypt, one small organization is fighting to make it a popular holiday spot once again.

Yesterday, it was reported that Egypt’s once thriving tourist resorts - including Sharm El Sheikh and Nuweibaa - had become virtual ghost towns following the bombing of a Russian plane in the Sinai Peninsula last month.

Egypt Trying to Show it's Peaceful Side

But a small aid organization is desperately trying to win back tourists to the country, by showing them the peaceful side of Egypt.

Sinai is Safe connects young Cairo residents and others across the country with a group of Bedouins - often referred to as desert dwellers - to explore the stunning desert landscape, sandy mountains and wadis that are worlds away from Eqypt’s crowded cities.

The southern interior of Egypt has always been far safer than the North Sinai, where an Islamist militant insurgency is raging.

The aid organisation believe getting this positive message across is vital in bringing tourism back to the country.

Russian Plane Bombed

Last month, Egypt faced horror when a Russian passenger plane was brought down by a bomb in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

ISIS groups soon claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement through their propaganda agency: “The fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God."

As a result of the crash, up to 20,000 Britons were left stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh after UK flights to and from the resort were grounded on Prime Minister David Cameron’s orders.

Last month, it was reported that tour operators were considering scraping all package holidays directly to Sharm el-Sheikh unless they received assurance the airport is secure from infiltration by jihadists.

And last week, it was revealed that British Airways and Easyjet had cancelled all flights until January.

British Airways flights had been cancelled up to and including the 14th of January, whilst Easyjet services were suspended until at least January 6th.

Reports found that whilst the country attracted around 15 million visitors a year up until the 2011 Arab Spring, figures have since dropped to just 9 million in 2014. And following the recent crash last month, once popular resorts are now practically deserted.

This article was previously published by Kat Romero on Express UK on December 01, 2015.