Sharm el-Sheikh turns into ghost town following plane crash

Sharm el-Sheikh has almost turned into a ghost town after Russian and British tourists vacated the city in response to their countries' call for evacuation. 
The majority of bazars and shops in the resort city were shut down due to the absence of tourists. Some renters said they might close their shops and hand them over to their owners to save expenses.
The occupants in one popular Sharm el-Sheikh hotel were mostly journalists, in addition to a couple of tourists. The occupancy rate in the hotel was one percent, according to the hotel workers.
One of the hotel workers told Al-Masry Al-Youm that a large number of employees will start an open-ended leave until the return of tourism to the city.
Ahmed Aballah, manager of a Sharm el-Sheikh hotel, said he has been working in the city for four years and has never witnessed a situation like this. He added that the hotel's management was forced to give workers their basic salaries because of losses.
Ayman Saleh, a Minya citizen who has been working in the city for seven years, said 90 percent of tourists in the hotel where he works were British nationals, followed by Russian. The occupancy rate in the hotel was 80 percent before the Russian passenger plane crash in Sinai, he said, adding that now the occupancy rate does not exceed one percent.
Chef Ahmed Hassan said he was going on a two-week vacation because the hotel is empty and management of the hotel asked workers to go on vacation.
Ahmed Galal, director of a tourist company that owns and operates four hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh, said three out of the company's four hotels were closed last week.
The occupancy rate in the fourth hotel does not exceed two percent, said Galal. The occupancy rate was as high as 92 percent before the plane crash, he pointed out.
The company is currently looking to revitalize the Gulf and Middle East markets, Galal mentioned.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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