An Egyptian man has stabbed two German tourists to death and wounded four others at a popular seaside holiday resort on the Red Sea, after apparently searching out foreigners to attack, officials and witnesses said.

The attacker killed the two German women and wounded two other tourists at the Zahabia hotel in Hurghada, then swam to a neighbouring beach to attack at least two more people at the Sunny Days El Palacio resort before being caught by staff and arrested, officials and security sources said.

It was the first major attack on foreign tourists since a similar assault on the same resort more than a year ago, and comes as Egypt struggles to revive a tourism industry hurt by security threats and years of political upheaval.

"He had a knife with him and stabbed each of them three times in the chest. They died on the beach," the security manager at the El Palacio hotel told Reuters.

"He jumped a wall between the hotels and swam to the other beach."

The security manager said two of the injured were Czech and two Armenian, but other officials said one of the women was Russian. They are being treated a local hospital.

The Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted that one Czech woman had sustained a minor leg injury.

The German Foreign Ministry confirmed that the two dead women were German nationals in a statement.