The Investors Association Marsa Alam Tours (MATIA) is still negotiating with private and government airlines over operating in the area, which would increase occupancy rates during the summer season, according to the association’s chairman, Adel Rady.
MATIA is currently negotiating with one of the companies owned by the Ministry of Petroleum to operate in the area, according to Rady, adding that the association suggested operating two trips per week.
“The cost of the seat is not agreed upon yet; in all cases, the trip cost would be less than the current price that amounts to EGP 2,000 per passenger,” says the chairman of the association, expecting the ticket to amount to EGP 1,200.
The area of Marsa Alam includes investments of over EGP 11bn, according to Deputy-Chairman of association Tarek Shalaby, who added that the area is ready to become a tourism city that competes with Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.
Shalaby believes that the high price of the flight tickets limits the visits of Egyptian families, especially during high-season, in comparison to the remaining tourist areas.
The current occupancy rates in Marsa Alam are 45-50%, according to Rady, who expects the rates to increase to 70% in next August.
Shalaby said in a previous statement to Daily News Egypt that they were engaged in negotiations with one of the private airlines during the last period to organise two trips per week in the area from the Arab capitals.
The lack of airlines is the most significant problem facing remote touristic areas like Taba, Nuweiba, Marsa Alam, and Matrouh in the North Coast, says Anwar Helal, a member of the association.
Helal believes that the airlines are important partners for the area’s investments, especially in the periods with low tourist flow from abroad, when domestic tourism is relied on.
“We are in negotiations with EgyptAir over operating in the area for more than six years. Nonetheless, the demands of the investors were not met,” said Shalaby.
Shalaby demands that the Ministry of Tourism support the area like the rest of the tourist areas, especially the areas in South Sinai.