The Egyptian Travel Agencies Association agreed to rent five buses to support pilgrimage trips in Aqaba, Mecca, and Cairo. The buses will enter the service if any problem or malfunction of any current bus occurs. The company that uses the bus can then pay the association for the trip.
A source told Daily News Egypt that the increase in prices caused many companies to fear the increase on the cost of trips, but after consideration, the increase was found to have little impact.
However, bus rental companies raised their prices and stipulated using models newer than 2008. These tourism companies will bear the increase and will not pass the price on to customers in the cost of the Hajj pilgrimage.
A number of owners of tourism companies called for raising the prices of land pilgrimage following the recent increase in fuel prices.
The source said that if the ministry allowed the use of the 2008 models, the decision would have allowed the entry of 400 more buses, which could have increased competitiveness. He pointed out that the association raised the request to the ministry, but in vain.
The electronic route required by Saudi authorities stipulates listing the names of pilgrims and programmes. It only accepts over 50 names per list, so companies have to cooperate with others if they have fewer names. The problem that faces companies is the availability of supervisors, as the ministry stipulates having a supervisor for each trip. However, the same ministry refuses to approve supervisors that hold commercial visas or employees holding residency in Saudi Arabia.