Hotel occupancy in Egypt's Red Sea resorts at 35-40% in H1- official

Tourists enjoy a day by the beach during a low tide in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO, July 6 (Reuters) - Hotel occupancy rose to 35-40% in Egypt's Red Sea resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada in the first six months of the year, from 20-23% a year earlier, a tourism official said on Tuesday.

In the capital Cairo, hotel occupancy rose to about 45%, from 27% in the first half of 2020, the official told Reuters.

Tourism is an important source of foreign revenue and contributes up to 15% of Egypt's gross domestic product but was brought to a near standstill by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government had placed a 50% occupancy limit on hotels, restaurants and cultural values to counter the spread of COVID-19, but announced earlier this week that it would raise the limit to 70%.

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Reporting by Mohamed Sayed Writing by Aidan Lewis, editing by Louise Heavens

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