The Minister of Tourism hopes to boost tourism numbers to Egypt through a visit to Turkey during which he will inaugurate a new flight route to Egypt.
Mohamed Hisham Zaazou embarked upon the promotional visit on Sunday morning. The aim of his visit, according to a ministry spokesperson, is to help foster the flow of tourism between Egypt and Turkey. He will also launch a new flight route between Istanbul and Sharm el-Sheikh, with another route between Istanbul and Hurghada to be launched a week later.
Zaazou is scheduled to meet with the chairman of Turkish airlines, the Turkish travel association and owners of Turkish tour operators. He is also due to hold a press conference in which he is expected to say that Egypt is stable, safe, and is welcoming Turkish tourists, and tourists from around the world.
A World Bank overview of Egypt from September attributed reduced tourism revenues as one cause of Egypt’s economic problems.
South Sinai is a hotspot for tourism in Egypt, with destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab attracting sun-seekers, divers and windsurfers. However tensions are currently high in the Sinai following a series of violent incidents.
The current advice from the British foreign office for British nationals is to avoid all but essential travel to south Sinai and to avoid all travel to north Sinai. The US state department also advises caution when travelling in the Sinai.
Zaazou will launch the new route between Istanbul and Sharm el-Sheikh and will return to Egypt on the inaugural flight. Currently Egypt air operates two direct routes to Istanbul from Cairo and Alexandria. Turkish airlines currently operate a direct flight to Cairo and will launch direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh on 9 October and to Hurghada on 17 October, according to the airline.