In the first week of August, hotel occupancy increased by more than 80% in some places, while it reached more than 90% in others, according to the Egyptian Hotels Chamber member, Antony Ghazal.
Workers in the tourism sector demands more promotions for the area in European markets to increase the occupancy rate throughout the year and not only during the summer.
The majority of bookings in the area are Egyptians, along with a small percentage of Arabs and foreigners, with expectations that the occupancy rate will reach 95% by mid-September, according to Ghazal.
The average price of a room in 3-star and 4-star hotels ranges between EGP 2,000 and EGP 3,500 per night, according to a hotel manager. He added that it costs EGP 5,000 in five-star resorts that hold concerts this summer.
He noted that the continued increase in bookings during the current season prompted hotels to increase the accommodation price, with the aim to compensate their losses during the winter season, where occupation ranges between 0% and 3%.
Most of the resorts in the North Coast close during the winter due to the cold weather, but they return in March to prepare for the Spring celebrations, while the peak season is in the summer.
According to the Egyptian hotels chamber, the North Coast resorts’ capacity amounts to 4,000 rooms, of which 50% is located in Marsa Matruh, which includes 5-star hotels.
“The operating cost has increased significantly by more than 50% in the last period, especially after the increase in electricity and fuel prices during the past two weeks, which will force hotels to increase the accommodation prices unlike previous seasons,” according to a hotel manager.
Ghazal said the current season is very good compared to the previous season, as it witnesses a great inflow of Egyptians despite the high prices to spend the summer holidays in the Northern Coast.
Ghazal said that this year’s occupations are promising compared to previous occupation rates over the last three years.
The tourism traffic to Egypt fell to 4.5 million tourists in the last year, a 40% drop compared to the previous year, as a result of the suspension of Russian flights to Egypt since the crash of the Russian aeroplane in October 2015.
“The North Coast is one of the most important areas in which Egyptians spend their summer holidays,” said Elhamy Al Zayat, chairperson of the Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers.
He added that this boom would require significant investments in the region’s infrastructure, especially 3-star and 4-star hotels, not only in the North Coast, but also in Alexandria.
Al Zayat said that the new Cairo-Alamein road is a major shift in the development of infrastructure in the region and facilitates traffic to and from the North Coast compared to the previous period.
An investor criticised the poor promotion of the North Coast in European markets, especially since it is very close to France and Italy. “Turkey attracts millions of European markets to its Mediterranean seaside resorts, while Egypt’s occupation rates are still very weak throughout the year despite the beautiful nature, resources and high quality resorts,” he said.
He pointed out that the North Coast before January 2011 was a destination for European tourism, especially those coming from Italy, but inflows from Europe have shrunk sharply in the past five years, which requires reconsideration by the General Authority for Tourism.
“Egyptian holidays are limited to four months, but the flow of foreigners will increase this period to about seven months, which would boost hotel revenues,” said Wassim Mohi Eldin, former head of the hotels chamber. He added that the North Coast and Alexandria are the most promising areas in Egypt, especially as the state tends to inject new investments in Al-Alamein City.