Bilateral discussions are being held between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on plans to build the largest tourist resort in Sharm El-Sheikh, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou announced during his visit to Saudi Arabia.
It is estimated that the project will require an investment of approximately $4bn, to be financed by Saudi capital.
On Saturday, the Egyptian minister headed to the Saudi Arabia to promote Egypt as a tourist destination as part of the new “This is Egypt” campaign. The one-month campaign targets the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
An advertisement will be broadcast on television and on screens in shopping malls of all the above countries. The campaign commenced on Internet platforms and social media websites with the hashtag #ThisIsEgypt.
The Ministries of Tourism, and of Civil Aviation are studying the possibility of operating direct flights from the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh starting in January 2016, an official at the tourism ministry told Daily News Egypt earlier this month.
According to the official, the Ministry of Tourism requested that EgyptAir conduct two flights per week from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Riyadh to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. EgyptAir has yet to make a final announcement on its decision in this process.
Egypt’s tourism saw a major decline after a Russian plane crashed in North Sinai on the 31 November, killing all passengers and crew members on board.
Head of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism Elhamy El-Zayat estimated Sharm El-Sheikh’s direct losses at $30m because of the British and Russian flight bans to Egypt.
The projected $30m losses are limited to revenue generated from hotels and tour operators, and do not account for the financial cost on local bazaars, restaurants, cafes, food suppliers, and night clubs in the city.
Egypt has launched several campaigns in attempt to attract tourists over the past two years. These campaigns included Misr Orayeba (Egypt is near), which also targeted Gulf countries.