Egypt’s tourism sector has witnessed a year-on-year contraction of 46.3 per cent, according to state statistics body Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (Capmas).

Capmas attributes the decline to the absence of Russian tourists, citing a 99 per cent fall in the number of nights Russians spent in Egypt.

The country’s tourism sector has been severely hindered since the downing of the Russian Metrojet plane in October last year.

Flights from Russia to Egypt have been suspended since the crash. The disaster has also affected the number of visitors from other regions – visitor figures from Western Europe declined by 35.2 per cent, while the number of Middle Eastern visitors decreased by 28.6 per cent.

Tourism is a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt and the slowdown of the sector has had a major impact on the country’s economy.

Cairo is struggling with a shortage of dollars, with foreign reserves currently sitting at about $16.4bn.