With winter approaching, Egyptian hotels are hoping to increase guest numbers staying at their facilities over the next four months, according to an official in the Ministry of Tourism. He added that the Ministry is seeking to raise occupancy to an average of 80% in Sharm El-Sheikh and 85% in the Red Sea.
The Ministry is currently intensifying promotion efforts in its main tourism markets and is working to increase the number of charter flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada airports, the official said.
The Ministry promotes the two areas separately from other tourist destinations in Egypt, as they account for two-thirds of Egypt’s hotel capacity at 225,000 rooms, the official said.
Last Tuesday, Daily News Egypt reported that the Ministry of Tourism aims to raise revenues to $10.5bn by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, up from the $5bn attained in FY 2013/2014.
Sharm El-Sheikh currently has an occupancy rate ranging between 60-70%, according to Tarek Taha, a hotel manager in the city.
Russian tourists account for 60% of visitors to Sharm El-Sheikh, with British visitors accounting for 30%, while Polish and other nationalities represent the remaining 10%, said Taha.
Taha does not expect a significant rise in occupancies in Sharm El-Sheikh next winter, and suspects that hotel occupancy will not exceed 70% over the next four months.
He explained that because tourists often decide to come to Egypt last minute, hotels lose the opportunity for marketing efforts that will attract a large number of guests.
Occupancies in Marsa Alam, located along the Red Sea, have increased to 75% and this rate is expected to increase during the winter to more than 80%, according to Tarek Shalaby, chairman of the Association of Tourism Investors in Marsa Alam.
Marsa Alam attracts Italian, Romanian, and Russian tourists said Shalaby, adding that local tourism represents a very small percentage of occupancies in the region. The exception to this is during holiday vacations, where local tourism increases.
According to Shalaby, Marsa Alam ’s hotels have a total of 15,000 rooms, operating with investments that exceed $10bn.
Shalaby has requested the Ministry of Aviation to reconsider the scheduling of Cairo-Marsa Alam flight lines to raise occupancy in the region throughout the year, especifically during mid-year holidays.