The Ministry of Tourism plans to evaluate the pilot incentive programme for the regular economy and charter flights, which ends 31 October, within six months, according to a memo from the Ministry of Tourism sent to the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association (ETAA).
The letter, sent by the ministry to the ETAA, said the stimulus programme will be in operation for one year from 1 November until the end of October 2018.
Osama Omara, secretary-general of the ETAA, told Daily News Egypt in previous remarks that there are 78 regular economy and charter flight companies with dues owed by the Ministry of Tourism.
He added that letters were sent to these companies to complete their papers to get their dues from the Ministry of Tourism.
A Tourism Ministry official said the one-year programme is aimed to increase the number of tourists next year to reach 10 million through increased trips to various tourists areas in Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Marsa Alam, Luxor, and Aswan.
Tourism revenues during the nine months of this year increased to $5.3bn, up by 212% compared to the same period last year.
The official said that incoming flights from Germany increased during the first nine months by 25%, while flights from Italy were up by 30%. He explained that this increase reflects the need for a strong flight incentive programme for charter and regular economy flights.
The official added that every dollar paid in the programme for the stimulus of charter flights, brings back $22. “This is a very good return, especially amid the conditions of the tourism sector, which has only started to recover recently,” he noted.
According to the evaluation results of the stimulus programme, the ministry will decided upon increasing, extending, or involving more imports, or removing the non-valuable ones.
He added that if Russian tourists return to Egypt and the British to Sharm El-Sheikh, the stimulus will be strong for flights from these two countries as they account for 45% of the annual inbound tourism to Egypt.
Russia has stopped its tourist trips to Egypt since the beginning of November 2015, following the fall of a Metrojet airliner in October. Britain has also suspended its flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.
The official said that the recovery of the sector during the coming period makes the Ministry of Tourism reconsiders again to contribute to the purchase of airlines working in Egypt in partnership with national banks or the private sector.
The Ministry of Tourism intends to contribute in one of the companies owned by the Egyptian national banks and EgyptAir in order to have a company that can operate charter flights to and from the countries with the largest number of tourists in Egypt.
He added that they have many studies of the project as well as many requests from foreign airlines in order to increase the rate of stimulation during the coming period, and all these subjects are under study and depend on increased arrivals to Egypt.
The number of tourists coming to Egypt during the nine months of this year reached 5.3 million tourists, up by 53% from the same period in 2016.