Tourism to Egypt almost halved

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Cairo, May 10 (IANS/AKI) The number of tourists visiting Egypt fell by 47.2 percent between March 2015 and the same month this year, according to official statistics cited by state-run daily Al-Ahram.

A total of 440,700 tourists visited Egypt in March, compared with 834,600 in the same month last year, said the country's central statistics office, quoted by Al-Ahram. 

Egypt's authorities blame the slump in tourist bookings on fears caused by the downing of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai in October which killed all 224 people on board.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed it brought down the flight which was travelling from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to St Petersburg. 

Western Europeans formed the biggest group of visitors to Egypt (slightly over one-third) followed by tourists from the Middle East and eastern Europe. 

Egypt was most popular with Germans, Saudi Arabians and Ukrainians.​

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