Tourism – Daily News Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:28:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tourism companies inspect fleets in anticipation of return of Russian tourism http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/tourism-companies-inspect-fleets-anticipation-return-russian-tourism/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/tourism-companies-inspect-fleets-anticipation-return-russian-tourism/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:00:18 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=616026 Tourist transport was heavily affected by low tourism rates during the past six years

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An official at the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association (ETAA) stated that in 2016, tourism companies inspected 892 out of 1,349 vehicles belonging to their fleets.

He added that most of the inspection was done on fleets in South Sinai, since the area accounts for most tourism vehicles in Egypt.

He noted that tourism companies have been inspecting their fleets lately in preparation of the return of Russian air traffic to Egypt.

He continued to explain that tourist transport was adversely affected during the past six years due to lower inbound travel to Egypt as a result of Russia and other countries suspending their airline traffic to Egypt.

According to a report issued by the ETAA, the number of vehicles in tourism companies’ fleets dropped from 2,699 in 2015 to 1,605 in 2016.

Limousine services account for the largest part of the tourism fleet with 1,349 vehicles, as well as 158 microbuses, 54 minibuses, and 44 busses.

The official said that there has been a decline in purchases of tourism vehicles over the past six years by over 90%.

The number of tourists coming to Egypt during the last year amounted to 5.3m, down from 9.3m in 2015.

The official noted that the number of drivers that underwent training until March 2016 reached 10,800, but training courses stopped after that due to the financial problems that companies had to deal with.

He pointed out that companies are likely to begin injecting investments of some EGP 1bn over the coming two years to buy more vehicles as Russian and British tourism returns to Egypt.

Russian tourism accounts for 45% of all tourists coming to Egypt, and European tourism as a whole accounts for the bulk, with 72%.

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South Sinai gives investors of Sharm El-Sheikh beaches two months to pay fees: head of Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/616022/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/616022/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:30:56 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=616022 South Sinai governorate has decided to impose fees worth up to EGP 20m on beaches of the hotels that overlook the sea, according to area of the beach at each hotel

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The head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, Hesham Ali, said that the South Sinai governorate gave investors a deadline of two months to pay fees—set for the exploitation of beaches by hotels overlooking the sea—and therefore the association formed a committee of members and legal experts to study the legality of the imposition of these charges on hotels.

He stressed that the committee is working on the completion of the study soon to be sent to the concerned authorities—the Ministry of Tourism, the Council of Ministers, and the governorate.

He added that investors fear being forced to open beaches to non-guests if they don’t pay the fees. Beaches were privately opened to hotel guests since the time of inauguration, which is over 20 years for some hotels.

The South Sinai governorate has decided to impose these fees, which reach up to EGP 20m for beaches of hotels that overlook the sea, according to the area exploited by the hotel. The governorate announced that it will start collecting fees from Sharm El-Sheikh and then will impose them later on the rest of the governorate’s hotels.

Magdy Naguib, head of the hotel facilities department at the Chamber of Tourism Establishments, said that the decision to impose fees on the hotels’ beaches is something new and cannot be accepted. When hotels were established, there were no such fees, and owners were not notified of the special fees, which are very expensive, he added.

He explained that according to the legal basis in Sharm El-Sheikh, decision No. 102 of 2010 by the governor of South Sinai illegal. As for the beaches, the chamber is studying their legal basis in order to standardise them in all governorates.

He pointed out that hotels pay all their value-added taxes, business profits, stamp duties, salaries, and more, which means that there is no need to apply more demands, explaining that these fees threaten all hotels built on beaches.

He added that the timing of the payment of these fees is inappropriate due to the economic situation of the hotel owners in light of the current crisis in tourism.

The chairperson of the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA), Ahmed Balbaa, said that the decision to impose fees on beaches is unacceptable because it increases the burden on hotel owners in the current period.

He explained that hotel owners incur a lot of commitments and do not have the ability to carry more of the burden.

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160% increase in visitors to Abu Simbel since the beginning of 2017: Aboud http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/160-increase-visitors-abu-simbel-since-beginning-2017-aboud/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/23/160-increase-visitors-abu-simbel-since-beginning-2017-aboud/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:00:59 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=616021 Tourist traffic coming from East Asian countries increased since the beginning of 2017, causing a surge in occupancy rates in Abu Simbel hotels 

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The number of visitors to Abu Simbel since the beginning of 2017 registered a 160% increase, compared to the same period in 2016, according to Hossam Aboud, director of Abu Simbel Antiquities.

Aboud said that the number of visitors to the Abu Simbel temples during the current period exceeded 800 visitors a day, compared to only 300 visitors a day last year.

He added that the perpendicularity of sunlight on the face of the King Ramses II statue in Abu Simbel is to witness a heavy influx of foreign visitors—where their number is expected to reach 3,000, compared to 2,500 in 2016.

Aboud pointed out that the tourist occupancy rates in Abu Simbel—six floating hotels and 4 fixed hotels—reached 100%, and the city has received bookings of more than 400 Japanese tourists wanting to witness the aforementioned phenomenon.

He explained that most of the tourists visiting Abu Simbel are Japanese and Chinese, followed by the rest of the East Asian nationalities, as well as a small number of visitors from Europe.

According to Aboud, the Ministry of Antiquities in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Aswan governorate held a celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the sunlight’s perpendicularity on the face of King Ramses II inside the temple. The celebration included the performance of 17 bands, nine of which were foreign.

They also held an exhibition—which will continue for another five months—at the hall of Abu Simbel temple, which features 50 images illustrating the stages of the temple’s discovery, as well as holding a light and sound show in the temple.

He said that the temple was discovered by Italian archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni. The phenomenon of the sun passing over the Abu Simbel temple is planned to be monitored by 12 Italian journalists and others from Germany, the Czech Republic, and other countries.

Hazem Fahmy, director of sales at the Steigenberger hotel in Luxor, said that the tourist movement from East Asian countries in general—especially the Chinese and Japanese markets—has increased since the beginning of 2017, causing a surge in occupancy rates at hotels, while tourist influxes from the European market is still somewhat weak.

He added that the occupancy rates in Luxor’s hotels increased by 15% compared to the same period last year, reaching 55% occupancy rates in hotels, compared to 40% in February 2016. He noted that there was a noticeable improvement in conference tourism as well.

He expected the improvement in tourist traffic to continue after the Scandinavian market lifted the travel ban to Egypt.

Tharwat El-Agamy, chairman of the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies in Upper Egypt, said that the tourist occupancy rate in the Aswan and Luxor governorates did not exceed 20%, and is expected to reach a maximum of 30%, in conjunction with the celebrations of the sun passing directly over the Abu Simbel temple.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in 2016 was 5.3 million tourists, compared to 9.3 million in 2015, a decline of 43%.

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EgyptAir pens guiding prices for current season’s Umrah tours http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/616001/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/22/616001/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:38:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=616001 The company did not price its tickets according to highest FX rates, but rather the average rate

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EgyptAir penned its guiding price lists for Umrah tours this season, with the Islamic months of Rajab and Sha’ban including four segments depending on travel date and route.

The first segment is priced at EGP 5,570 to Jeddah, while the second comes at EGP 5,780 to Medina.

The list indicated that if travel and return dates come on Thursdays or Fridays, the prices to Jeddah increase to EGP 5,660 from Cairo and EGP 5,850 to Medina.

Moreover, for flights taking off from the Borg El-Arab airport in Alexandria, the prices are EGP 5,660 to Jeddah and EGP 5,780 to Medina.

As for tickets from Luxor, the prices to Jeddah come at EGP 4,950, while tickets from Aswan to Jeddah register EGP 5,050.

Umrah flights are set to begin on 29 March.

A senior source at EgyptAir said the decline in the foreign exchange rate will not impact the prices of tickets.

He explained that EgyptAir did not price its tickets according to the highest exchange rate, but rather the average rates.

He added that the company may consider cutting the prices if the exchange rates remain low on the official market.

EgyptAir had earlier posed a 25% discount from 20 to 23 February on Umrah tickets.

EgyptAir will rely on a fixed schedule of flights, with ten flights to Jeddah and five to Medina. The company will manoeuvre the models of the planes according to needs.

The source pointed out that the company has been receiving requests from tourism companies to book flights.

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Initial reconciliation between Flash Tour and the Ukranian company Join Up, sources http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615564/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615564/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:30:55 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615564 The reconciliation obliges the Ukrainian company to repay 65% ​​of the value of the disputed amount, and repayment of the remaining amount in installments

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Sources at the Egyptian Travel Agents Association and the Ministry of Tourism revealed that the amount of money disputed between the Ukrainian company Join Up and the Egyptian company Flash Tour is roughly $2.7m.
The sources said that the Ministry of Tourism has intervened to resolve the dispute in order to preserve the continuation of the work of the Ukrainian company in the local market—one of the most important foreign travel agencies in it.

The Disputes Resolution Committee at the Egyptian Travel Agents Association stopped the intervention to resolve the problem because of the high value of the dispute.

The sources explained that the Ukrainian company is obliged to pay 65% ​​of the disputed amount, and repayment of the remaining amount in installments over an unspecified period.
Flash Tour presented to the Ukrainian judiciary its contracts with Join Up to prove their financial dues.

The sources said that the agreement reached between the two companies means Flash Tour will have to waive its case as soon as it receives the amount.
They added that the Ukrainian company’s name has now been unblocked and removed from the blacklist and that the Egyptian companies working with it will not be punished.
The sources pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism is seeking to cooperate with all the organisers of overseas trips to ensure bringing the largest number of tourists in the coming period, taking into account the interests of the Egyptian companies.

The Egyptian Travel Agents Association warned all Egyptian companies against applying sanctions prescribed to Article 9 of Law No. 85 of 1968 on them if any company provides tourist services to the Ukrainian company until the reconciliation and payment of all arrears.

The Association was in favour of Flash Tour in its dispute with Join Up.

Flash Tour called on Join Up to pay $2.7m of the accumulated dues, but Join Up evaded payment.

Flash Tour refused to comment on the reconciliation until the official completion and agreement on the duration of the repayment.

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ETA pens plan to attract tourists from central Europe, Asia, North Africa http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615561/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615561/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:00:02 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615561 Egypt can attract 700,000-800,000 tourists from these markets if coordination is established

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The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) intends to pen a plan to study attracting tourists from new markets—including southern and eastern Asia, central Europe, and North Africa—as a prelude to intensify tourism promotion during the coming period, according to sources in the body.

A source told Daily News Egypt that the new markets represent a good opportunity for Egyptian tourism, especially as none of the countries targeted have issued travel bans for Egypt in the past few years.

He said that the Ministry of Tourism will coordinate with the Egyptian embassies in the aforementioned regions’ countries if no ETA-affiliated tour operators are there to obtain information on the opportunities for growth in tourism during the coming period.

The source added that experts from the aviation sector and the Egyptian Tourism Federation will take part in the study to represent the private sector. The source explained that the new markets require presence of direct flights, since a lack of them hinders the inflow to Egypt.

He said that the countries of North Africa—such as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia—alone can supply about 500,000 tourists a year if direct flights are being operated.

In general, he noted that if coordination exists between different state bodies and carriers, Egypt could attract between 700,000 and 800,000 new tourists in total from all these countries, which could change the sector’s structure in a short period of time.

Egypt’s new Minister of Tourism, Yehia Rashed, had earlier said that the tourist inflow to Egypt in 2016 dropped to 5.3 million tourists, down from 9.3 million tourists in 2015—a decline of 40%.

Yet, chairperson of the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association Khaled El-Manawi, had earlier explained to Daily News Egypt that North African countries supply over 1 million tourists to Turkey and southern Europe.

He said that Egypt has many archaeological sites that could raise the interest of tourists from North Africa, especially sites in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.

The total hotel capacity in Greater Cairo, according to the Chamber of Hotels, amounts to 30,000 rooms, including 20% overlooking the Nile, while the rest lie in the eastern and western parts of the capital.

The source at ETA said that Arab tourism declined significantly after the 25 January Revolution.

He explained that with the increased promotion and marketing in North African countries, Arab tourist inflow can grow again to boost the number of tourists from Arab states to over two million per year.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has stressed his support for the tourism sector during the first meeting of the Supreme Council for Tourism and urged the need to intensify tourism promotion in Arab markets.

A hotel manager in Cairo, Ali Mohamed, said that Arab tourists spend more money than Europeans and stay longer—up to around 12 days per visit.

He added that inflow from Arab countries, especially the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, increased in the past summer.

Tharwat Al-Agamy, chairperson of the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies, said that tourists from south-eastern and eastern Asian countries spend more money than other tourists, with each tourist spending over $150 a day on average.

He added that tourists from these markets are interested in visiting ancient shrines, unlike tourists from Europe who are usually keener on visiting beaches for recreational activities.

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CBE initiative set to rescue 50% of hotels nationwide http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615556/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/16/615556/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 06:30:04 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615556 Initiative will consider promoting local industry by requiring 65% reliance on domestic products in replacement and renewal

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Investors of hotel facilities await the activation of the initiative posed by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to develop hotel establishments that have been worn out as their owners became unable to develop them in light of the current tourism crisis.
Abdel Fattah El-Asi, chairperson of the hotel facilities department at the Ministry of Tourism, said that the CBE initiative helps the sector develop its worn out facilities, especially as many of them have suffered from lack of maintenance over the past six years due to the decline in tourism.

He explained that the initiative is beneficial to the hotel sector in particular, as 50% of hotel facilities have closed down throughout the period of tourism decline, while the remaining facilities are operating at 50% capacity.

General Ali Reda, former head of the Tourism Investors Association at the Red Sea, said that 50% of Red Sea and South Sinai hotels are unable to host any visitors now.

He added that 90% of materials required for development operations are locally made, including ceramic, paint, upholstery fabrics, electrical appliances, kitchenware, and furniture.

He pointed out that reliance on imported products will not exceed 10% and will be mostly for silverwares of the 5-star hotels, since they look for the highest quality products.

The head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, Hisham Ali, said that the conditions of the hotels in the province have become pitiful as owners do not have the financial liquidity to conduct developments of infrastructure.

He added that all services in hotels in South Sinai and the Red Sea have been negatively impacted and need over EGP 2bn for upgrades.

The hotel sector in Egypt includes over 1,000 hotels with more than 195,000 rooms distributed over 901 traditional hotels with 179,100 rooms, and 264 floating hotels with 16,100 rooms, as well as six hotels in the Lake Nasser area with 422 rooms.

According to a report, issued by the Chamber of Hotels, Sharm El-Sheikh comes first in terms of the number of hotels, where the city alone contains 180 hotels with 51,100 rooms, followed by Cairo with 157 hotels featuring 27,000 rooms, and then Hurghada with a total 147 hotels comprising of 47,100 rooms.

Ali noted that banks were reluctant to fund tourism in Egypt and withdrew most of their investments on the back of the decline in tourism that began in 2011. He added that the government does not currently support the tourism sector in Egypt, unlike other countries in the region, including Tunisia.

He pointed out that all necessary equipment for development is present in the local market, hinting that investors will not suffer a shortage of materials.

Nader Girgis, member of the Ministry of Tourism’s Committee to Revive the Path of the Holy Family in Egypt, said that the sector needs clear regulations and guidelines for the implementation of the CBE initiative in order to learn the allocations for each sector.

He pointed out that the Furnex and the Home Exhibition held recently proved that many Egyptian companies can supply the hotels, including Ceramica Cleopatra Group, Abd El Aziz El Sallab, and Oriental Weavers.

He added that imports after the Egyptian pound flotation have seen price hikes in times when hotel owners cannot afford any increases.

He noted that local products are high quality but do not have spare parts for floating hotels.
CBE had announced that as part of the initiative banks will provide EGP 5bn in loans with an interest rate of 10% extending over 10 years at most, according to the credit study conducted separately for each client.

The CBE noted that the initiative determines that the main purpose of financing has to be directed towards replacement and renovation of hotels and fleets.

Moreover, the CBE added that the initiative will focus on promoting local industry by requiring borrowers to rely on domestic products for 75% of the replacement and renewal process, with full commitment to comply with the new standards adopted by the Ministry of Tourism to ensure high-quality renovations.

Under the initiative, banks provide up to 75% of the total cost of renovation, while clients bear the remainder.

Chairperson of the Tourism Committee at the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA) Ahmed Balbaa, said that there is no limit set for imported materials and banks, but is left to the ability of each investor to import.

He explained that the Committee agrees fully with CBE regulations, urging the need to notify banks with the timing of the initiative so that it could assist the sector as soon as possible. He urged the CBE to allocate 50% of the total provisions of the initiative for the Red Sea and South Sinai.

Balbaa called upon the CBE Governor to consider the size of the burden and financial responsibility that tourism investors bear, which hinder them from fulfilling their various commitments towards 12 parties, including the tax, insurance, and electricity agencies—and other government bodies—due to a lack of liquidity.

He pointed out that when banks ignored the tourism sector, many investors had to abandon the sector in fear of risking their funds in an unpredictable sector.

Meanwhile, Tarek Shalaby, head of the Taba and Nuweiba Investors Association said that hotels are unable to host any tourists at the time prior of conducting maintenance, as equipment and facilities are no longer operating effectively.

He added that local products will be able to compensate for imported goods and benefit investors by replacing worn out materials.

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Russian tourists return to boost Egypt’s tourism http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/13/615353/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/13/615353/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:07:11 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=615353 Russian flights to Egypt resume in hopes of reviving Egyptian tourism and economy

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According to the Italian website Web it Mag, Russian flights to Egypt will resume on 23 February.

Russian flights will be flying to three Egyptian airports: Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Hurghada.

The Egyptian airport authorities have received ocular biometric scanners from Russia that will be installed in Terminal 2, which should operate international flights to Russia, for heavier airport security.

Following the Russian plane crash over the Sinai peninsula, which killed all 224 people on board, in October 2015, the Egyptian tourist number declined by 51.2 percent in the first half of 2016, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

As a result of the incident A few European countries, including the UK, have suspended their flights to and from the resort due to intelligence concerns, devastating Egyptian tourism.

The Ministry of Tourism released data saying that Egypt’s monthly losses following the deadly incident are worth $173m.

However, the third Russian consulate in Egypt opened in Hurghada on 22 January, joining the two others in Cairo and Alexandria, to offer consular services to the 20,000 Russian residents and the coming visitors.

Hossam Akawy, a tourism expert and a member of the Tourism Investors Association in the Red Sea, said in a press release that the opening of the consulate is a positive step towards the recovery of the tourism industry.

Russian tourists made up 67.9 percent of Egypt’s tourists in 2015.

According to CAPMAS, the top three countries that kept Egypt’s tourism strong in 2014 are Russia, UK, and Germany.

Tourism may be approaching a revival, as four other European countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, have joined Russia and lifted the travel ban on the Sinai Peninsula after more than a year suspending flights since the downing of the Russian plane.

Mohamed Al-Hassanein, member of the tourism companies’ chamber in the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said in a press release on Thursday that the tourism market will start to feel the positive effects of these flights’ resumption by the beginning of October.

Thomas Cook, the British travel group, also said on Thursday that the demand for vacation in Egypt is back on the rise, after the unrest in the region pushed visitors into finding alternative, rival sunny locations.

Tourism is one of the most important sectors in the Egyptian economy. Not only is it a vital source of foreign currency to the Egyptian economy, but it also is a provider for a lot of employment for Egyptians.

The Minister of Tourism, Yehia Rashed, previously said in a press release that 2017 will be a year for massive recovery in the Egyptian tourism sector once foreign airlines from Egypt’s top markets—Russia, UK, and Germany—resume their flights to Egypt.

Egypt had been struggling to recover from economic issues and a shortage of foreign currency ever since the uprising in 2011.

With the return of Russian tourists, Egypt may regain its tourism and fix its economic issues with the foreign currency income.

 

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TDA to offer bid requirements for implementation of Ras Sidr airport in March http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614963/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614963/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 08:30:19 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614963 Revenues of TDA amounted to EGP 555m the end of last month

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The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will offer bid requirement pamphlets for the development of Ras Sidr airport and a tourist community in mid-March, in cooperation with the Egyptian Airports Company (EAC).

CEO of TDA, Serag El Din Saad, told Daily News Egypt that the authority, in collaboration with EAC, invited companies that are interested to apply for the project. It will be established on 34m sqm, in addition to the development of 6m sqm of the surroundings land for tourism development purposes.

Saad said that the consultative engineering office of the project, EHAF Consulting Engineers, preferred to announce the project before offering the bid requirements in order to asses the extent of investors’ aspirations for the project.

Saad predicted that investors will apply for the project as a result of the strong opportunities offered by the TDA, which is the land allocated to establish a tourist project to feed the airport.

He said that offering land next to the airport reassures investors about the existence of a plan to raise the quality of tourism services and occupancy in the region.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has issued a decree to allocate 4,711 acres affiliated to the TDA to the EAC for the establishment of the Ras Sidr airport.

The EAC has called on the cabinet to increase the allocated area for the establishment of the airport.

Saad said that the TDA achieved revenue of EGP 555m until the end of January.

He added that the achieved revenue during the first seven months of the current fiscal year represents 79% of the targeted revenue of EGP 700m.

Saad explained that 65% of the authority’s revenue came from its dues from previous dealings, while 35% came from the authority’s new tenders in the current fiscal year.

The TDA has approved 36 new projects on an area of 16.5m sqm during the current fiscal year.

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Ministry of Tourism reconsiders proportion of new energy and renewable energy projects built on its territory: Emad Hassan http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/ministry-tourism-reconsiders-proportion-new-energy-renewable-energy-projects-built-territory-emad-hassan/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/ministry-tourism-reconsiders-proportion-new-energy-renewable-energy-projects-built-territory-emad-hassan/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 07:00:22 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614914 New and renewable energy in file stopped completely due to the difficulties facing investment in the field

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The Ministry of Tourism is reconsidering the proportion of new and renewable energy in comparison to total energy consumption in projects on its territories, according to the Minister of Tourism’s energy advisor, Emad Hassan.

Hassan told Daily News Egypt that the ministry had previously specified that a ratio of 24% of energy consumed in projects based on lands owned by the Tourism Development Authority should come from renewable sources, which he described as very high and ill-considered.

He added that the proportions should be at most 10% with allowed future expansion.

The Tourism Development Authority had stipulated the ratio of 24% renewable energy in its terms of allocating lands in 2012.

An official, who requested anonymity, said that the file has stopped completely under the difficulties of investing in the field, despite the high cost of energy from traditional fossil fuels.

He added that the Ministry of Tourism may reconsider freezing the file, especially as the electricity prices are heading towards more hikes as the state obtains a $12bn loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which requires the liberalisation of energy prices over the coming five years.

He pointed out that the authority has spent many efforts with Marsa Alam Investors Association, where the ministry allocated EGP 20m for this purpose. Yet, investors were not convinced to shift to using renewable energy sources.

He explained that investors believe the price of traditional fuel is still cheaper compared to the price of energy produced from solar cells.

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Domestic tourism programmes for Egyptians will not continue during holidays: El-Demery http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614920/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614920/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 06:30:21 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614920 545 tour operators made use of the Egypt in Our Hearts initiative

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Head of the Tourism Development Authority, Hisham El-Demery, said that the Egypt in Our Hearts initiative will not continue during the winter vacation, as many Egyptians tend to travel during that period.

He added that it will be launched again after carefully conducting feasibility studies, as the authority aims to promote domestic tourism and raise awareness in Egyptians about their country to increase their sense of patriotism.

He pointed out that the initiative has been discussed more than once in parliament, but no decision was taken yet.

Alaa Abdel Wahab, adviser to the tourism minister, said that the initiative will not continue during the vacation period as it would be a waste of public funds.

He explained that the aim of supporting domestic tourism is to secure tourist inflow to hotels and tourism facilities to help them continue working, as well as foster a travelling culture among Egyptians.

He added that domestic tourism is the safety valve for tourism in times of crisis, noting it helps increase awareness among Egyptians when they learn about their country.

Tourism inflow to Egypt dropped to 5.3 million visitors in 2016, down from 9.3 million tourists in 2015.

Meanwhile, Khaled El-Manawi, a member of the Egyptian Tourism Development Authority, said that the initiative has rescued the tourism sector in the past.

He explained that 545 tourism companies benefitted from the initiative, which also helped 80,000 Egyptians visit different parts of their country by subsidising EGP 500 for Sharm El-Sheikh visits and EGP 700 for any other destination per person.

He added that the initiative included 88 hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh and 43,000 rooms, in addition to 90 floating and traditional hotels in Luxor and Aswan.

He said that the initiative should continue but not during holidays as Egyptians tend to travel more during these times even if prices are not subsidised.

Istrabus Travel chairperson, Wagih Rezqallah, said that the initiative stirred movement in the sector following a period of staggering recession on the back of the crash of a Russian metrojet aeroplane in Sinai at the end of October 2015.

He added that the initiative should be implemented on major companies, unions, government bodies, and universities.

He stressed that the initiative should only be implemented when no foreigners are in Egypt. “Egyptian culture is different,” he said. “Hotels operating under the initiative should not host foreigners to preserve the Egyptian image abroad.”

Yet, he said that the initiative contributes to all tourist investments, including transport, cafes, restaurants, and hotels.

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Russian trips to Egypt will reactivate the tourism sector: El Zayat http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614917/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/09/614917/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 06:00:58 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=614917 There should be a study for supply and demand, lands should be offered according to this mechanism, sector needs should be determined

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The past six years were the most difficult years in the history of the tourism sector, according to Elhamy El-Zayat, chairperson of Emeco Group. El-Zayat said that those who work in the tourism industry should not lose hope in its recovery during the coming period.

El-Zayat noted in his interview with Daily News Egypt that Egyptian tourism is capable of recovery in a short period, since Egypt is full of diverse tourism resources such as beaches, antiquates, and safari opportunities. He noted that we should expect the return of Russian trips to Egypt during the upcoming few days.

How do you see the future of tourism in the coming period in light of the challenges experienced by the sector?

Despite the challenges experienced by the sector over the past six years, the sector is still capable of recovery in light of a significant improvement in security indicators over the past two years.

An important aspect to be noted is that Egypt is not the only country suffering from terrorism in the whole world; the only difference is that Egypt is located in a volatile region in the Middle East, with Libya to the west, and Syria and Iraq to the east.

Following the improvement of security procedures at Egyptian airports, the resumption of Russian trips to Egypt is expected in a short period. Germany resumed its flights to Sharm El Sheikh, which already raised hotels’ occupancy during the last two weeks.

There are complaints from workers in the sector that hotels are suffering, especially in replacement and refurbishment processes. What do you think about that?

The complaints are real, and I think that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launched an initiative worth roughly EGP 5bn to fund the replacement and renewal processes for floating hotels and car fleets. The initiative will be a step forward to resolve such problems.

The launch of this initiative indicates that the banking system supports the state and aims for the sector to recover within a short period of time.

I know that hotel revenues declined during the last period, but the surrounding circumstances are very difficult. We are better than others, but Egypt is fighting a media war targeting its tourism sector.

I believe that the recovery of the tourism sector will impact many economic sectors, such as industry and agriculture.

You need to know that every room in a hotel provides a job opportunity to three individuals, which is a high employment rate, and this will reduce the unemployment rate in Egypt.

The employers in the tourism sector invested their revenue surpluses in tourism projects at the sea or in South Sinai six years ago. The investment at the time provided more employment opportunities.

How do you evaluate the low ratio of skilled labour in the sector during the recent period?

During the recent period, the tourism sector has lost one of its most important elements: skilled labour. Skilled labourers left Egypt and travelled to other countries in the region to find jobs. The unskilled labour remained, which necessitates beginning the training operations.

The tourism sector before 25 January 2011 registered more than 3.5 million workers, whether direct or indirect, but the situation now is completely different.

Hotels and businesses stopped the training programmes during the last period due to the decline in tourist influx to Egypt.

How do you judge the tourist influx to Egypt during the last year?

The Ministry of Tourism doesn’t provide us with data about the tourist influx, but it certainly declined; however, I expect the indicators to rise again during the current year.

In the last period you opposed the offering of lands for the establishment of new tourism projects. What do you think of the offerings implemented by the General Authority for Tourism Development?

There were more than 225,000 rooms operating in Egypt during the recent period, and there are 200,000 rooms under construction. We also saw how high hotel prices were in Egypt during the past period.

We cannot continue renting hotel rooms in Egypt at a price of $12. What is the service level provided to guests at such low prices?

The current prices will not continue because of hotels’ capacity in light of the decline of tourism.

I wonder: What if the 200,000 rooms under construction entered operations right now? Is there a demand in Egypt to capitalise on the current hotel capacity? I do not think so.

There should be a study of supply and demand, and lands should be offered according to this mechanism to determine what the sector needs. Egypt needs three-star hotels, especially in Cairo, Alexandria, and other touristic areas, such as at the Red Sea and in South Sinai.

I sense optimism in your words. What is behind that?

Egypt is unique in the region as it possesses special tourism resources. In the winter, tourists wish to enjoy its temperate climate, its proximity to Europe, and the short duration of the trip with a low cost of transportation.

The cost of accommodation and tourist services provided to guests is affordable. You can have a week off in one of the excellent tourist areas at the Red Sea for only $400.

Despite the advantages Egypt possesses, there are still a lot of problems: traffic, media, travel bans, terrorism in the region, and a lack of encouraging events.

 

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Egypt’s dues to foreign tourism companies reach $16m for promotional campaigns http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/egypts-dues-foreign-tourism-companies-reach-16m-promotional-campaigns/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/egypts-dues-foreign-tourism-companies-reach-16m-promotional-campaigns/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 09:00:50 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613839 Egypt spent total of $24m for tourism promotional campaigns, says Shoukry 

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Egypt’s dues to foreign tourism companies, which carry out promotional campaigns of Egyptian tourist destinations abroad, recorded $16m.

Hany Shoukry, head of JWT which was assigned by the Ministry of Tourism to conduct a three-year promotional campaign, said that MindShare world agency—which carried out a number of media campaigns outside Egypt—has dues amounting to $9.5m.

Shoukry added that the Egyptian government has not repaid its dues for about 15 months, while JWT has received only EGP 8.5m of its total dues for the promotional campaigns, equivalent to nearly $1m based on the US dollar price before 3 November of EGP 8.88, while it now reached about EGP 19 in some banks.

He added that the total cost of the promotional campaigns for Egyptian destinations reached $24m in 18 months.

Shoukry explained that some of the foreign tourist offices affiliated with the Egyptian Tourism Authority have delayed their approval of the promotional campaigns bills.

He pointed out that Egypt was banned from launching any promotional campaigns in Germany because the Egyptian Tourism Authority had not repaid its dues amounting to $7m to German companies which carried out previous campaigns.

JWT won the promotional campaign tender in August 2015 for a three-year period. Under the tender contract, the company will promote Egyptian tourism destinations in 27 tourist markets for $68m.

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Abu Simbel receives 11,000 visitors in January: director of Abu Simbel Antiquities  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/abu-simbel-receives-11000-visitors-january-director-abu-simbel-antiquities/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/abu-simbel-receives-11000-visitors-january-director-abu-simbel-antiquities/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:30:39 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613811 Aboud expects an increase in tourist traffic in Aswan in February, being the peak of the touristic season coinciding with European vacations

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The Abu Simbel temples in Aswan received 11,000 visitors in January, with an increase of 57% compared to the same period last year.

Hossam Aboud, director of Abu Simbel Antiquities, said that the archaeological area received visitors from various nationalities amounting to 11,000 visitors compared to about 7,000 in January 2016.

He added that most of the visitors of the archaeological area and the province in general are from China, as a result of the protocols of cooperation signed recently between Egypt and China.

The total hotel capacity of the South Valley area is estimated at about 21,000 rooms, of which 17,000 rooms are in floating hotels, mostly in Luxor and Aswan.

Aboud expects an increase in tourist traffic in Aswan in February, being the peak of the touristic season coinciding with the European vacations.

He added that the Ministry of Antiquities is preparing in collaboration with the ministries of tourism, culture, youth and sports, and health, as well as the governorate, to celebrate the bi-annual sun festival at Abu Simbel on 21 February, which is expected to attract more tourists this month.

The Ministry of Tourism has allocated 25% of the promotional campaign of Egyptian touristic destinations to Luxor and Aswan in order to increase the tourist inflow in the current winter season.

An official in the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels said that the average hotel in Aswan reached 50-60% occupancy in January, benefiting from the domestic tourism during the mid-academic year vacation.

The official expected that the tourist flow from western European countries, as well as south and east Asian countries, will increase during the next two months to visit Luxor and Aswan, pointing out that they reduced entrance fees in the archaeological areas to attract more visitors.

He noted that the expected increase in tourist flow during the next two months will give hope for tourism companies to maintain this increase during the whole year, especially as Russian officials often visited Egypt recently to ensure security measures at Egyptian airports are adequate.

He continued that the recent increase in hotel occupancy will encourage the floating hotels in Luxor and Aswan to reopen after being stalled for more than five years in a row.

The tourist traffic in Egypt declined to 5.3 million tourists in 2016 compared to 9.3 million in 2015, according to a statement by the Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed.

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Tourism companies struggle to maintain vehicle fleet in 2016: chamber  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-companies-struggle-maintain-vehicle-fleet-2016-chamber/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-companies-struggle-maintain-vehicle-fleet-2016-chamber/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:00:35 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613808 The decline in investment in tourism transportation was not great during 2010, and it would have been able to recover in 2011 had the 25 January Revolution not taken place

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The number of cars that are used by tourist transport companies has declined in 2016 to 1,605, compared to 2,699 in 2015, according to a report issued by the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies.

According to the report, the number of limousines in service amounts to 1,349, the number of microbuses amounts to 158, minibuses reached 54, and large buses reached 44.

The report also stated that the number of tourist buses and safari cars declined from 4,200 before 25 January 2011 to about 1,832 by late 2016.

Daily News Egypt had previously reported that the number of tourism buses declined to 2,048 by late 2015.

The report said that the level of investment in tourism transportation over the past year has fallen significantly, by more than 80% due to declining tourism inflow to Egypt.

The number of tourists coming to Egypt during 2016 reached 5.3 million, compared to 9.3 million tourists in 2015. This decline is attributed to the suspension of Russian and British flights since the Metrojet flight crashed in October 2015.

According to an official at the chamber, the number of drivers who have been trained until March 2016 reached 10,800. Such training was almost completely stalled after this period due to difficult financial conditions experienced by the tourist transportation companies and the entire sector.

The official added that the chamber succeeded in obtaining a resolution from the government that allows renting limousines for foreigners residing in Egypt, especially after the decline in inbound tourist traffic during the last two years to compensate companies for the decline in revenue.

According to the report, the sector saw a popular trend towards the investment in purchasing tourist buses and safari cars from 2004 to 2009. The number of cars and buses of 2007-2008-2009 models reached about 920 cars but the decline in investment returned again in early 2010 due to the global financial crisis.

The official said that the decline in investment in the transportation sector was not great during 2010 and would have been able to recover in 2011 if the 25 January Revolution had not occurred, as the sector received a historically large number of tourists visiting Egypt, amounting to 14.7 million visitors in 2010.

Tourism companies are trying to maintain their transportation fleet. Some tourism companies have their own maintenance centres, according to the report.

The report recommended companies work with companies that locally manufacture vehicles to secure new buses and cars.

The average operating life of one bus amounts to more than 10 years while the real operating life reaches approximately 3.8 years; thus, the need for new investments in the sector is very important.

The official said that the sector hopes that Russian tourism returns to Egypt in the next few days to enable tourism companies to develop their fleet; however, the Egyptian pound’s flotation may limit the ability of companies to modernise their fleet as the US dollar has reached EGP 19 in the current period.

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Tourism Activation Authority invites companies, hotels to take part in ITB Berlin in March: tourism companies chamber http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-activation-authority-invites-companies-hotels-take-part-itb-berlin-march-tourism-companies-chamber/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-activation-authority-invites-companies-hotels-take-part-itb-berlin-march-tourism-companies-chamber/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 07:30:37 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613804 The fees to participate in the exhibition have not been changed by the organising administration, but pound's flotation has lead to an increase in the fees on Egyptian companies which may prevent several from taking part as exhibitors 

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The Tourism Activation Authority has sent a letter to the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies to invite their members to take part in the ITB Berlin exhibition in Germany which takes place in March of every year. The exhibition is an indicator of inbound tourism in Egypt during the winter season, according to an official in the chamber.

The ITB Berlin exhibition is considered one of the largest international tourism events, as deals signed during the event in 2016 reached a value of €67bn ($73bn). The number of visitors to the sessions during five days reached 175,000 and exhibitor companies reached 10,186 from 189 countries around the world.

Mohanad Flefel, former head of the Committee of Tourism Transportation at the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies, said that his participation this year will be confined to a visit.

He pointed out that companies will seek to attend the exhibition as a desire to get introduced to what is new in the field, as well as hold meetings with owners of companies in foreign markets.

He explained that a large number of companies will take part in the exhibition for this purpose, as there are no indicators that tourism will be returning during this period.

He said that the German market is the largest market sending inbound tourism to Egypt in general, despite that the government has not worked on this market well enough.

The value of the Egyptian pound has greatly declined as a result of its flotation in November, which led to an increase in the value of other currencies against the pound.

Kamel Abo Ali, head of Albatross Holding for Tourism, announced that his company is willing to take part in the exhibition this year, calling on the government to choose the optimum location for the Egyptian suite.

He stressed that visitors will be introduced to a number of programmes; however, these programmes are not completed yet.

He explained that the tourism crisis now needs activation in all possible ways, most prominently taking part in different exhibitions, and launching promotional campaigns for Egypt in all countries of the world.

Mody El Shaer, head of Bright Sky Travel, said that his company will take part in the exhibition through showcasing its products at the ITB exhibition.

He pointed out that his company has formed a group of employees who will determine the programmes to be displayed. The group is expected to be done with the work over the few upcoming days.

He stressed that the exhibition helps bring tourism from all countries of the world. It also helps communicate with a large number of tour organisers and other companies.

Ahmed Balbaa, head of Balbaa Group for Hotels, said that the Berlin exhibition is considered one of the main opportunities for companies to communicate with their counterparts  around the world, as the exhibition is considered one of the largest international tourism events that all companies are keen to participate in.

He explained that the participation fees were not changed by the management organising the events; however, the pound’s flotation has caused an increase of the fees borne by Egyptian companies, which may prevent a large number of companies from participating as exhibitors. Companies will only take part as visitors and a smaller number of employees than the amount they used to send before, due to the increase of the travel costs.

He went on to explain that companies do not contract during the exhibition; however, they get introduced to each other and meet later to sign different deals.

He pointed out that travel companies and agencies, in addition to airlines and hotels, take part in the exhibition; however, they have not decided whether to participate or to only be visitors.

 

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Tourism industry prepares 5 investment opportunities for upcoming ATM exhibition in Dubai http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-industry-prepares-5-investment-opportunities-upcoming-atm-exhibition-dubai/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/02/02/tourism-industry-prepares-5-investment-opportunities-upcoming-atm-exhibition-dubai/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 07:00:54 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=613802 Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed called on the Tourism Activation Authority to be prepared to take part in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition in Dubai. The minster and ministry officials are to take part in the exhibition, according to an official at the ministry. The source said that the ministry will display and offer investment …

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Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed called on the Tourism Activation Authority to be prepared to take part in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition in Dubai. The minster and ministry officials are to take part in the exhibition, according to an official at the ministry.

The source said that the ministry will display and offer investment opportunities in the Red Sea region for tourism investment firms in the Arabian Gulf states.

He expects that the officials will finalise a memorandum at the exhibition which will include five investment opportunities, with plots of land ranging from 5m-10m sqm, to be completed in February.

The source mentioned that the timing of the ATM exhibition is good for Arab tourism marketing before the start of the summer holiday in the Gulf—especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

The official expected many tourist programmes to be launched for Arabs during the coming summer.

“The Tourism Activation Authority notified the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Travel Agencies to alert their members of the importance of participating in the exhibition, and that participation costs €1,350,” the official said.

The Ministry of Tourism is seeking to increase the Arab tourism influx in 2017 to 1.5 million tourists, and to increase that number to 2 million in 2018.

He added that Arab tourism is considered one of the most important markets exporting tourism traffic to Egypt in terms of spending rates, compared to any other nationality.

The Arab tourists’ spending rate ranges between $80-120 per night compared to the European tourists’ spending rate which ranges from $50-70. Arab tourists on average spend 12-15 days in Egypt per visit, and visit Egypt frequently.

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Egyptian museums achieve revenues of EGP 45m in 2016 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/egyptian-museums-achieve-revenues-egp-45m-2016/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/egyptian-museums-achieve-revenues-egp-45m-2016/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:00:23 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612557 The Ministry of Antiquities’ affiliated museums have achieved total revenues of $45m with 974,400 visitors in 2016. According to a statement by the ministry’s museums division, the museums achieved the highest revenues in December, recording EGP 6.8m with 117,000 visitors, while the lowest revenue reached was $1.7m in June with 21,800 visitors. Minister of Antiquities …

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The Ministry of Antiquities’ affiliated museums have achieved total revenues of $45m with 974,400 visitors in 2016.

According to a statement by the ministry’s museums division, the museums achieved the highest revenues in December, recording EGP 6.8m with 117,000 visitors, while the lowest revenue reached was $1.7m in June with 21,800 visitors.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anany told Daily News Egypt that the number of visits of museums and archaeological sites has increased during the recent months starting from October which coincide with the winter season, when the tourist flow increases in Egypt.

The museums’ total revenue in January reached EGP 2.8m with 72,400 visitors, compared to EGP 4m in February with 125,000 visitors.

The museums’ total revenue in March recorded EGP 3.6m with about 111,700 visitors, compared to EGP 3.5m with 68,000 visitors.

The revenues declined gradually, to record EGP 2.9m in May with 51,600 visitors, until they dropped to EGP 1.7m in June with 21,800 visitors.

The museums’ revenues in July were EGP 2.8m with about 84,000 visitors, and EGP 3m in August with 80,000 visitors.

The museums’ total revenue in September recorded EGP 3m with about 76,000 visitors, compared to EGP 4.2m in October with 70,900 visitors.

The revenues jumped in November recording EGP 5.7m with 94,700 visitors, and continued its growth to EGP 6.8m in December with a total of 117,000 visitors.

The number of the museums affiliated to the Ministry of Antiquities is 31 across the country, including 21 open-air museums and eight under-development museums, as well as two closed museums.

The closed museums are El-Arish and Beni Suef museums, while the ministry is still developing the Greek Roman museum, the Port Said museum, the Ahmed Orabi museum, the Tanta museum, the museum of Tanis, Rommel Cave museum, Mohamed Ali museum in Shubra, and the Royal Vehicles museum in Bulaq.

The ministry has opened three museums in the second half of 2016 after finishing their development, including Farouk Corner museum, which was opened in August; Mallawi museum, opened in September; and Kom Oshim museum, opened in November.

 

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New sleeper cars to Luxor and Aswan to attract more tourism http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/new-sleeper-cars-luxor-aswan-attract-tourism/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/new-sleeper-cars-luxor-aswan-attract-tourism/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:30:12 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612552 Mohamed Ali, manager at a hotel in Aswan, said that tourist occupancy should be increasing as Egyptian families prepare for the school holidays

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Watania Sleeping Trains and Catering Services Company decided to provide luxurious cabins from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor and back with a capacity of 34 passengers on tourist sleeper trains starting last Sunday to transport tourist groups, according to an official at the company

The official said that travel prices in tourist sleeper trains include $110 for a single room, $80 for a double room, and $40 for a seat for foreigners, while Egyptians will pay EGP 400 for a unified ticket.

The price includes dinner and breakfast from Cairo to Aswan and back. The official added that the company hopes to see an influx of passengers on sleeper trains during the winter.

Mohamed Ali, manager at a hotel in Aswan said that tourist occupancy should be increasing as Egyptian families prepare for the school holidays. He expects hotel occupancy to reach 40% in Aswan and 30% in Luxor hotels.

Hotel accommodation in Luxor rose slightly by 15-20%, despite the increase in hotels operation costs by more than 40%, as well as price hikes on food and drinks.

Ali expects Watania’s new service to contribute to price decreases for foreign tourist groups, resulting in an increase in tourism in the region as many tourists go to Luxor and Aswan from Cairo to visit archaeological sites.

Tourist traffic to Egypt last year declined to 5.3 million tourists compared to 9.3 million tourists during 2015, a decline of 40%.

Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed had said in previous press statements to Daily News Egypt that Aswan and Luxor are one of the most prominent tourist areas promoted in the current period in various European markets.

The ministry of tourism has allocated 25% of tourism promotion to Luxor and Aswan since the beginning of last year to raise the occupancy rates in both cities.

Mustafa Waziri, director general of Upper Egypt antiquities in the Ministry of Antiquities, said that launching discounts on sleeper train trips to Luxor or Aswan would encourage domestic tourism traffic and enhance the influx numbers in conjunction with the mid school year holiday .

Director of Abu Simbel antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities Hossam Aboud said that the number of visitors to the archaeological region at the beginning of the week are usually inconsiderable, and increase gradually by the end of each week, exceeding 1,500 arrivals.

Aboud expects hotel occupancy rates to increase to 70% in February due to the Sun Festival at Abu Simbel, where tourist occupancy rates in fixed and floating hotels in Aswan exceed 30% from varied nationalities such as American, Japanese, and East Asians.

According to previous statements by the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anany, foreign tourism companies inserted visiting Nefertari and Seti l tombs in Luxor in their tourist programmes, after the announcement of the ministry about opening them for visits.

The number of Luxor passes sold since November amounts to 500, generating $50,000 in revenues.

The Luxor pass allows its holder to visit all archeological sites in Luxor governorate over five days at a value of $100. In addition, the state also offers entry passes to other sites such as the Nefertari and Seti I tombs, which costs $200.

Nefertari and Seti I tombs registered revenues worth EGP 1.5m since their opening, receiving 1,579 visitors to the two cemeteries.

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Pound flotation increases costs of developing 10 archaeological projects to EGP 635m http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/612532/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/25/612532/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612532 The costs of the development and restoration of archaeological projects in the engineering projects division of the Ministry of Antiquities have recorded a noticeable increase with the decision to liberalise the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound. The budget allocated to develop 10 projects this year is estimated at EGP 635.5m, compared to EGP 350.9m …

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The costs of the development and restoration of archaeological projects in the engineering projects division of the Ministry of Antiquities have recorded a noticeable increase with the decision to liberalise the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound. The budget allocated to develop 10 projects this year is estimated at EGP 635.5m, compared to EGP 350.9m before the flotation of the pound.

The Ministry of Antiquities plans to develop, restore, and inaugurate 10 archaeological projects in 2017 within its investment plan for the year.

Engineer Waad Allah Abou El-Ela, head of the engineering projects division in the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the ministry seeks to complete the development and opening of several projects this year, most prominently the development project of Hadabet El-Haram with its three phases, the archaeological area in Abydos, and the Royal Vehicles museum in Bulaq.

The projects also include Sohag National museum, Ganem Al-Bahlawan mosque in Darb Al-Ahmar, Eissa Al-Kurdi mosque, Wekalet Al-Shorbagy mosque, Terbana mosque, and the first phase of the Zaghloul Barshid mosque.

Abou El-Ela told Daily News Egypt that the total costs of these projects are currently estimated at EGP 635.5m compared to EGP 350.9m before the decision to float the pound.

He explained that the total volume of cost increase of these projects after the flotation will exceed EGP 231m, which is equivalent to a 57% increase.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to liberalise the pound’s exchange rate against the US dollar in November 2016.

The dollar exchange rate in the banking system has exceeded the EGP 18 barrier, compared to EGP 8.88 before the flotation.

Abou El-Ela noted that starting any project scheduled to be completed by the end of the year depends on collecting the necessary financing. Because of this, no time frame for the completion of a project has been established until the project is started.

He explained that the poor financing as well as the deterioration of antiquities in some sites were some of the main crises faced by the sector throughout the past year.

The cost of the first phase to develop and secure Hadabet El-Haram reached EGP 86m, compared to EGP 51.4m pre-flotation. The cost of the second and third phases of the project reached EGP 90m, compared to EGP 69.5m.

The cost of the development of the archaeological area in Abydos is EGP 38.3m, compared to EGP 28.5m, whereas the cost of the Royal Vehicles museum development is EGP 95.3m, compared to EGP 52.2m.

The cost of the project of Sohag National museum is estimated at EGP 62m, up from EGP 30m. The development cost of Ganem Al-Bahlawan mosque jumped to EGP 6m, compared to EGP 4m.

The allocated cost for the Eissa Al-Kurdi mosque increased to EGP 10m, compared to EGP 6.6m before the flotation. The cost of the development and restoration of the Wekalet Al-Shorbagy mosque in Alexandria reached EGP 79m, up from EGP 51m.

The cost of developing the Terbana mosque in Alexandria is estimated at EGP 50.3m, compared to EGP 23m. The cost of the first phase of the development and restoration project of the Zaghloul Barshid mosque is EGP 117.5m compared to EGP 87m.

A table illustrating the increase in the archaeological projects’ costs after the pound’s flotation:

 Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 7.23.49 PM

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Germany lifts final restriction on flights to South Sinai: Foreign Ministry http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/24/612434/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/24/612434/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:37:36 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=612434 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday that the Egyptian embassy in Berlin was able to lift the last restriction on German flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and South Sinai. In a press release, the ministry said that the German federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure decided to exempt German airlines from flying 26,000 …

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday that the Egyptian embassy in Berlin was able to lift the last restriction on German flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and South Sinai.

In a press release, the ministry said that the German federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure decided to exempt German airlines from flying 26,000 feet above South Sinai which will allow German airlines to operate direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh without paying additional insurance.

Germany had warned its citizens from visiting Egypt after a Russian aeroplane crashed in October 2015 en-route from Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the decision opens the path to full inflow of German tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh and South Sinai.

Germany was ranked first in terms of the number of tourists coming to Egypt in 2016, with a total of 655,000 tourists.

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Blue Sky Travel Agency loses quarter of its revenues in 2016 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/19/611109/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/19/611109/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:30:27 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611109 Hossam El-Shaer, chairperson of Blue Sky Travel Agency, said that the company’s revenues dropped by a quarter in 2016 compared to 2015. He attributed the fall to the low tourism inflow from Europe, following the tragic incident of the Metrojet Russian airliner crash at the end of October 2015. The incident has prompted Russia to …

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Hossam El-Shaer, chairperson of Blue Sky Travel Agency, said that the company’s revenues dropped by a quarter in 2016 compared to 2015.

He attributed the fall to the low tourism inflow from Europe, following the tragic incident of the Metrojet Russian airliner crash at the end of October 2015.

The incident has prompted Russia to halt all its flights to Egyptian tourist destinations from November 2015 onward, while Britain stopped its flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh.

Blue Sky is one of the major Egyptian companies operating in foreign tourism. It is also an agent for Thomas Cook Travel in Egypt.

El-Shaer said that he hopes 2017 will see better inflow compared to previous years.

Inbound tourism to Egypt has dropped in 2016 to 5.3 million tourists, down from 9.3 million in 2015—a fall of 40%.

The company owns about 20 hotels and floating hotels in all Egyptian tourism destinations, especially in the Red Sea area, South Sinai, Luxor, and Aswan.

El-Shaer said that the company stopped the establishment of three hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh worth EGP 1bn, as well as another hotel in Hurghada that cost EGP 300m.

El-Shaer said that his plan to complete the projects worth EGP 1.3bn will hinge on the return of Russian and British tourism.

He explained that putting the projects on hold was mainly due to the lack of tourism inflow, as well as the high costs.

He pointed out that the current problems will double the company’s losses and put more financial burdens on them, especially because government bodies do not take the current circumstances into consideration.

“The tourism crisis is the worst in years,” El-Shaer said. “Blue Sky has already closed down two of four hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh, in addition to one of five hotels in Hurghada.” He added that the company has also scrapped five of its seven floating hotels, due to the same reasons.

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We repatriate Air France’s money in return for bearing foreign exchange gap: country manager http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/19/repatriate-air-frances-money-return-bearing-foreign-exchange-gap-regional-director/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/19/repatriate-air-frances-money-return-bearing-foreign-exchange-gap-regional-director/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:00:45 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=611107 ‘The company operates its brand new Boeing 787 to Cairo with 6 weekly flights’.

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Air France obtained an approval to repatriate its money in Egyptian banks on condition of bearing the foreign exchange rate gap.
Cees Ursem, country manager for Egypt of Airfrance-KLM, told Daily News Egypt in an interview that the Egyptian pound’s flotation decision benefits the local economy; however, its impact on foreign companies’ returns that transfer their funds abroad is negative.

How do you see the Egyptian pound’s flotation decision? Did it affect the company’s profits?
The pound’s flotation decision by the Egyptian government benefits the local economy as it attracts foreign investment; nevertheless, it negatively impacts foreign companies already operating in Egypt. The decision increased the US dollar exchange price to more than 50%.

Can the company currently repatriate its money?
We finally obtained an approval to repatriate a partial amount from our bank accounts.
The company, nevertheless, welcomed the approval, and considers the approval an important step.

How did the decision impact the company’s money in Egyptian banks? Who will bear the foreign exchange rate gap—the company or banks? 
Air France will bear the foreign exchange rate gap whereas our local sales revenue deposited at the bank are directly impacted by the decline in the Egyptian pound’s value against the US dollar by 50%.

What is the size of Air France’s fleet in the local and international markets?
Air France operates its first brand new Boeing 787 to Egypt. The company’s fleet on the international market comprises of 106 long-haul aircraft and 123 for the medium-haul network.
What are the latest updates introduced by the company to the local market?

 

The world is changing, as are customer expectations. The group continues to invest to offer its customers new products and services which are increasingly adapted to their needs and ways of travelling.

In January 2017, Air France introduced the Boeing 787 in its fleet offering the best of Air France to the customers. This includes the latest Air France cabins—a cocoon in the sky in the business cabin (30 seats), and comfort for all in the new Premium Economy cabin (21 seats) and in Economy (225 seats). There is also a Wi-Fi connection on board adapted to the requirements and habits of customers, and additional comfort and space with the new Premium Economy seats. Windows are approximately 30% larger than on similar aircrafts and a lower cabin altitude and enhanced in-flight humidity levels provide greater travel comfort. This new-generation aircraft has many operational assets, including fuel consumption reduced by about 20% compared to previous-generation aircrafts, an asset that reduces the effects of a new increase in the price of fuel. It also has a significant reduction in CO2  (around 20%) and noise emissions.

How much did it cost the company to update its fleet with the new Boeing 787 model?
Air France does not disclose this figure. The company continuously invests in new aircrafts. It ordered in total 16 Boeing 787. A modern fleet allows the group to offer its passengers enhanced comfort, generate significant fuel savings, and meets its corporate sustainability commitments by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution for residents.

How many Egyptian passengers travel with Air France annually? What is the targeted number in the current year?

 

This is confidential information, which we are not allowed to share externally. This is highly competitive information.
Does the company intend to increase its flights to Egypt in the coming period?

 

Operating six frequencies per week, Air France does not plan to increase the number of flights to Egypt. For economic reasons, Air France’s sister company KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has decided to temporarily suspend flights to Cairo effective 8 January 2017 as the devaluation of the Egyptian pound and the decision of the Central Bank of Egypt to impose restrictions on the transfer of foreign currency out of Egypt had a negative impact on KLM’s results.
Air France operates flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The flight leaves Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at 2:30pm and arrives in Cairo at 8pm, then takes off from Cairo International airport at 1:35am to reach Charles de Gaulle at 5:30am.

 

Does the company plan to fly to various destinations such as Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Luxor, and Aswan in the coming period?
Air France does not intend to operate to other tourist destinations because they are covered by charter airlines, which means there is currently no need to fly to them on a regular basis.

What is the size of the company’s investments in the Egyptian market?
Air France’s investments in the local market are high, especially after the recent updates of the fleet.

How many offices does the company operate in the local market?
Air France has three offices in the local market at Cairo Festival City, Cairo International airport, and Alexandria. We are not planning to open new offices.

What is the rate of online booking in comparison to total reservations?
The rate of online reservations increases in parallel with the number of internet visitors.

In how many countries does the company operate and does the company target other markets?

Air France-KLM is the leading group in terms of intercontinental traffic on departure from Europe. It operates up to 2,200 daily flights enabling its customers to travel to 320 destinations in 114 countries.
The group’s fast-developing low-cost leisure activity is operated by Transavia in France and the Netherlands with destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean.
Air France-KLM operates with its partners Delta and Alitalia, the largest trans-Atlantic joint-venture with 270 daily flights. Moreover, Air France-KLM is member of the SkyTeam alliance which groups together 20 airlines, offering access to a global network of more than 16,270 daily flights to 1,057 destinations in 179 countries.

 

 

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Hotel revenues per available room forecasted to grow by 8% between December, February in Cairo: Colliers  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610825/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/17/610825/#respond Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:24:00 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=610825 Cairo hotels continued to show a strong performance despite the recent devaluation of the local currency. The continued surge in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) is a result of the increasing Average Daily Rates (ADR), according to Colliers International’s MENA Hotel Forecasts December 2016 report. Consequently, hotel profitability rates are expected to further enhance. According …

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Cairo hotels continued to show a strong performance despite the recent devaluation of the local currency. The continued surge in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) is a result of the increasing Average Daily Rates (ADR), according to Colliers International’s MENA Hotel Forecasts December 2016 report.

Consequently, hotel profitability rates are expected to further enhance.

According to the report, both Cairo and Jordan’s Aqaba are considered tourism hotspots with 8% and 11% expected RevPAR growth from December to February, respectively. Alexandria is the runner-up with a forecasted 6% RevPAR growth in the same period.

On the other hand, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh continue to feel the negative consequences of declining tourism due to recent events that have weighed down the inflow of tourists. Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh are expected to witness 3% and 2% growth, respectively, during the same period.

Moreover, Mecca and Abu Dhabi beach are expected to maintain a stable RevPAR performance, while Jeddah witnessed a 13% drop in RevPAR due to new visa regulations, and the drop in meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE), and corporate demand caused by the cuts in public and private spendings. Kuwait City also registered a 13% decrease due to the decline in MICE and corporate demand.

Regarding the Guest Experience Index (GEI), Colliers noted that Cairo scored 73 out of 100 for November 2016, marking a three-point increase, while Alexandria scored 76, Sharm El-Sheikh scored 81, and Hurghada scored 82.

The reports indicated that the highest GEI growth was witnessed in Ras Al-Khaimah with a five-point increase, reaching a score of 77 points. Aqaba’s GEI witnessed the highest recorded drop in the GEI score with an eight-point decrease, reaching 71.

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ETAA settles disputes with foreign companies, restores $4.750m for members http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/etaa-settles-disputes-foreign-companies-restores-4-750m-members/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/etaa-settles-disputes-foreign-companies-restores-4-750m-members/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:00:38 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=609828 The number of companies still prohibited to be dealt with due to not paying dues reached 79, most of which are from the European market

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The Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA) restored $4.750m from foreign companies that stopped paying their dues to the Egyptian companies in the last year.

According to a financial statement by the association, the ETAA concluded settlement agreements with a number of foreign companies to pay the dues of Egyptian companies. As a result, it lifted these companies from the black list.

“The Egyptian Travel Agents Association prohibits its members to deal with foreign companies that have stopped paying the dues of any member company of the association in order to guarantee that the latter will obtain their due amounts,” the statement read.

The companies with which settlements were concluded included Japanese, Greek, Russian, and Ukrainian companies.

According to the official website of the ETAA, the number of companies that are still prohibited to be dealt with due to not paying the dues reached 79, most of which are from the European market.

Member of the ETAA Moody El-Shaer said that they paid significant efforts last year to settle the disputes between the Egyptian and foreign companies and restore the money for the former, which guarantees the resumption of business with these companies. This helps in restoring tourism coming from the countries in which these companies operate.

El-Shaer believes that the Egyptian market is prominent for the majority of foreign companies, given variety of the country’s tourism resources, such as recreational tourism on beaches, safari tourism in the desert, or visiting archaeological areas in Luxor and Aswan, in addition to the mild weather during the winter.

El-Shaer expects the number of tourists coming from eastern Europe to Egypt to increase, especially during the winter, given the low temperature in these countries compared to Egypt. He added that the recent bombings in Turkey will serve the interest of the tourism movement coming to Egypt, especially if Russian tourism trips to Egypt are resumed.

Workers in the tourism sector hope that Russian trips to Egypt are resumed this January, after they were suspended since November 2015 in the aftermath of the crash of a Russian Metrojet aeroplane in Sinai.

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Egyptian Tourist Authority gets ready for ITB Berlin exhibition in March: official http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/609826/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/609826/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:30:25 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=609826 The tourism movement coming to Egypt declined by 40% from 2015 to 2016 due to the suspension of Russian trips to Egypt since early November

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The Egyptian Tourist Authority is getting ready to participate in the ITB Berlin exhibition in the first half of March 2017, in order to increase the incoming tourism movement from the western European countries throughout next summer, according to an official in the authority.

The authority asked the Egyptian Travel Agents Association to get ready to participate in the exhibition and to coordinate with the authority to increase the tourism flow coming to Egypt, especially from the German market.

For the third consecutive year, the Egyptian Tourist Authority kept the price of participation with no increase, according to the official, adding that the price of participation is €1,350, compared to €2,350 two years ago, in spite of the increase of the cost of reserving the section in the exhibition.

The incoming tourism flow to Egypt retreated the last year to 5.3 million tourists compared to 9.3 million in 2015—a decline of 40%—due to the suspension of Russian trips to Egypt since early November 2015.

The official said that the cost of participation serves the interest of Egypt’s tourism sector in the end, in order to enable the companies to be present in the exhibition.

The official expects the number of tourists coming from Germany during this year to reach about 800,000, given the resumption of trips from Germany in the last quarter.

He added that the expenditure of German tourists ranges between $70-80 per night, and that they are among the most important tourists coming to Egypt throughout the last 10 years.

The most important tourist areas for Germans are both Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, besides trips to archeological areas in Luxor and Aswan.

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ETAA earns EGP 3m in FY 2015/2016 from Suez Canal certificates: official http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/etaa-earns-egp-3m-fy-20152016-suez-canal-certificates-official/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/12/etaa-earns-egp-3m-fy-20152016-suez-canal-certificates-official/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:00:58 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=609823 Return on assets, investment funds, and takaful programme rose to EGP 21.6m during FY 2015/2016, compared to EGP 13.5m during FY 2014/2015 at a growth ratio of 60%

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The Egyptian Travel Agents Association’s (ETAA) initial public offering (IPO) return reached EGP 6.3m in the New Suez Canal certificates by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016 due to purchase of certificates worth EGP 70m for financing drilling in the canal.

An official at the ETAA said that the return of Suez Canal revenues during the last FY witnessed growth in deposits accounts, investment funds, and the takaful programme.

According to the official, the return on assets, investment funds, and the takaful programme rose to EGP 21.6m during the last FY, compared to EGP 13.5m during the previous FY, at a growth ratio of 60%.

“Making the IPO in the Suez Canal certificates was a good a step, in order to take advantage of the association’s money, as well as participating in the national economy and its development,” the official said.

The association’s tourism fund’s return declined during the previous FY, estimated at EGP 32.1m. The return’s value declined due to spending money on incentives and other benefits. He called on chamber members to discuss how to utilise these funds.

The official said that investing the association’s money in projects will increase revenues for the benefit of its members in light of the sector’s losses over the past six years.

The number of tourists coming to Egypt in 2016 declined to 5.3 million tourists compared to 9.3 million tourists in 2015.

He pointed out that the association always supports its members through the decline of revenues, despite the current crisis.

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160 commissions take stock of Egyptian artefacts in museums: head of museum department  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/11/160-commissions-take-stock-egyptian-artefacts-museums-head-museum-department/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/11/160-commissions-take-stock-egyptian-artefacts-museums-head-museum-department/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:50:05 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=609726 The Ministry of Antiquities is creating an electronic system that will link museums to a database of artefacts

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An inventory of artefacts at a number of museums’ stores was held by 160 commissions affiliated to the Ministry of Antiquities across all governorates.

Elham Salah, head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Museums Section, said that the ministry has formed 200 commissions to conduct a stocktake of artefacts at all museums in Cairo and other governorates.

She told Daily News Egypt that the ministry has formed 100 additional commissions several months ago to help in the inventory, bringing the total number of commissions to 300.

Salah continued that these commissions also observe the delivery and receipt of the artefacts from one storage space to another. They record and document the artefacts by collecting data of the museums’ records, and each of them may include more than one artefact.

Salah pointed out that the ministry is working on creating an electronic linkage between museums and the activation of databases to ease conducting inventories of artefacts in the coming years.

The parliament’s Tourism Committee filed a briefing request to the Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anany to hold an inventory of Egyptian artefacts in the current period.

She added that the inventory has been delayed due to the presence of a large number of records and artefacts at the stores which have not been inventoried for a long time, prompting the ministry to form urgent committees.

Said Helmy, head of the Islamic and Coptic Artefacts Department, said that her department is waiting for the approval of the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ decision to register all Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish artefacts, so that they may form a committee to record and document the artefacts urgently.

She added that the registration is expected to take a few months after the approval of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

According to Helmy, there are 1,030 Islamic artefacts, 88 churches, and 11 synagogues registered at the Ministry of Antiquities.

He pointed out that this decision will put all the buildings, mosques, monasteries, and synagogues under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities and subject to the Egyptian Law on the Protection of Antiquities.

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Red Sea and South Sinai hotel occupancy stable in past few weeks http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/11/609728/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/11/609728/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:47:35 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=609728 Influx of German tourists expected in January after resumption of flights 

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Hotel occupancy rates stabilised in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh during the first week of January settling at 45-50%, according to investors.

Investors said that the two cities are considered to have the highest hotel occupancy rates over the past 20 days due to high booking rates at the beginning of December.

Hisham Ali, head of the South Sinai Investors Association, said that reservations increased occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh during the last period to 50%.

The head of the Politician Investors Association believes that most guests are Egyptians, because hotel offers attracted primarily Egyptian families to spend the Christmas holiday there.

He expects an influx of foreign tourists to Sharm El-Sheikh during January, in light of the resumption of Germany’s flights to the region, as well as a tourist influx from eastern European countries, especially Poland and the Ukraine.

“We hope the current year will be better in terms of tourist influx coming to Egypt than last year,” the source said.

Inbound tourist traffic to Egypt during 2016 declined to 5.3 million tourists compared to 9.3 million tourists during 2015.

Sharm El-Sheikh accounts for 50% of the total capacity of hotels operating in South Sinai, which represent 69,000 hotel rooms, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels.

Mohamed Mahmoud, a manager at one of Sharm El-Sheikh’s hotels, said that the rate of Egyptian guests is higher than foreigners in Sharm El-Sheikh in light of the recent discounts offered by hotels to attract Egyptians.

He explained that hotels provided offers starting from EGP 300 to EGP 800 per night, despite the increased prices of food during the recent period.

Mahmoud added that occupancy will decline again over the next few days because the holiday period has ended. He expressed his desire to see European tourism increase over the next two months.

Hisham Al-Shaer, board member at Blue Sky Tourism Company, said that occupancy in the Red Sea city of Hurghada reached 45-50% last week.

He added that Hurghada is one of the best cities in the Red Sea province in terms of hotel occupancy.

The sector is optimistic about the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s procedures that are being implemented at Egyptian airports and the announcement of the return of Russian tourists to Egypt very soon.

Russian security officials visited Egypt at the end of December to inspect the ministry’s procedures.

An official at the Chamber of Hotels said that despite the improvement in occupancy rates in coastal areas and Red Sea hotels, rates are still modest in light of hotels’ inability to increase prices, in order to attract the largest possible numbers of local and foreign guests.

Tourists spend $50 per night in Egypt on average. Despite the price hikes, many believe the tourism situation is improving.

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Bazaars turn to tombs on the backs of price hikes and the tourism crisis http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/05/608517/ http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2017/01/05/608517/#respond Thu, 05 Jan 2017 08:00:15 +0000 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=608517 30% of owners permanently closed their shops, 50% closed down temporarily

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Khaled El-Saadany, head of the Tourism Goods Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said that the prices of goods increased three fold compared to 2015, especially following the flotation of the pound.

He pointed an accusatory finger at the 2015 decision to ban imports of folkloric goods or other goods that are produced in Egypt by the former minister of trade and industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour.

El-Saadany explained that there are 40 workshops in Egypt which cannot replace the products imported by bazaar owners, especially as they produce lower quality goods.

He added that the tourism market requires 10,000 pieces per month when it is active, noting that the Industrial Development Authority, which aims to empower local production, does not produce the number of goods they need, and if it did the price would be 20 times more than the imported version.

El-Saadany said that investments in the field dropped by 95%, warning against the continuity of the current situation. “This would lead the value of assets to drop,” he said. “Bazaar owners try to reduce the value of their shops by over 80% to escape the current situation.”

He added that the government is not offering help. “They cut the lights of bazaars in Hurghada when they are behind on their bills.” He explained that the support designated to the sector is only channelled to hotels and companies.

Moreover, he said that 30% of bazaar owners have closed shop entirely, while over 50% closed their shops temporarily until the situation improves.

“Only 20% are now working, with almost no sales,” El-Saadany said. He estimated the number of registered gift shops and bazaars at 30,000.

The secretary general of the Chamber of Tourism Goods of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Mohamed Abbas, said that there is almost no demand on sales in light of the current tourism crisis.

He pointed out that the chamber is unable to support bazaar owners, as they have not received approval from the Ministry of Tourism regarding a proposed EGP 5bn support package.

Abbas added that the sector is waiting for the tourism inflow to revive, noting that prices have not yet reflected the recession.

Aly Ghoniem, former head of the Chamber of Tourism Goods of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said that bazaars are struggling with the lack of tourism.

He pointed out that shops are ready to sell locally-produced goods, but only when tourism recovers. He explained that these shops usually sell to foreign tourists because there is no demand for such products among Egyptians.

Ghoneim said that the deteriorating situation has forced bazaar owners to stop paying their chamber fees because they cannot afford it. “Some even bought tuk-tuks to earn their living and closed down their shops,” he said.

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