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.