Tourism – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:00:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Examining UAE’s tourism revolution https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/19/examining-uaes-tourism-revolution/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/19/examining-uaes-tourism-revolution/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:45:21 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634275 The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in the midst of a dramatic upsurge in tourism numbers thanks to a wide-ranging series of initiatives that have made the nation one of the most popular places in the region.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in the midst of a dramatic upsurge in tourism numbers thanks to a wide-ranging series of initiatives that have made the nation one of the most popular places in the region.

From expansive new projects like the Dubai Marina, to the cutting of bureaucratic restrictions on everything from tourism visas to business legislation, it’s clear that the UAE has become a real tourist hotspot.

Recently released tourism figures have shown how destinations like Abu Dhabi are attracting a new generation of visitors from China, India and the UK. With improved tourist facilities in hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment, the city has seen the amount of hotel guests rise by 30% compared to the previous year’s results.

Whilst political unrest is thought to have been behind Egypt’s recent decline in tourism numbers, it seems that the UAE has managed to successfully market the nation as being a safe place for foreign visitors.

With attractions like the Dubai Mall, which caters to Western shopping tastes, and recently opened complexes like Legoland Dubai serving up plenty of family focused entertainment, the UAE has perfectly positioned itself as being a 21st century tourism destination.

None of these high-profile operations would be possible without a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Not only is Dubai Airport one of the busiest transport hubs in the world, but the nation is in the midst of hundreds of innovative projects that will see smart traffic systems and a rapid transit rail network making the UAE an enviably futuristic place to visit.

In addition to this, many of the world’s most ambitious examples of a gig economy have also used the UAE as the base for their Middle Eastern operations. From transport companies like Uber and Careem offering more flexible travel options, to Deliveroo helping Dubai’s Marina restaurants gain easier food delivery methods, there are few modern business ideas that the UAE is unwilling to implement.

As a result, many of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs have proven to be keen to expand their operations within the UAE. A quick look at some of the high-profile restaurants in Dubai shows how there’s an endless range of celebrity chefs who have flocked to the city to enjoy the cosmopolitan mix of cultures and cuisines that is a hallmark of this multicultural metropolis.

With the impending arrival of Expo 2020 set to continue the success story of the UAE, it seems that this nation is one of the new stars of the international tourism scene.

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Government allocates EGP 200m for restoration of Islamic, Coptic, Egyptian monuments https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/government-allocates-egp-200m-restoration-islamic-coptic-egyptian-monuments/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/government-allocates-egp-200m-restoration-islamic-coptic-egyptian-monuments/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:04:06 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634209 Each artifact requires specific funds for restoration, average at EGP 10 - 20m

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The government will channel 54% of the total allocations directed for investment in the antiquities sector, which is equivalent to EGP 200m in the current fiscal year, for the restoration of Islamic and Coptic monuments and the restoration of Egyptian antiquities in all governorates of Egypt, which represent about 27% of total governmental allocations at EGP 100m per project.

Head of the Department of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities, Al-Saeed Helmy, said that the allocations of the government for the restoration of the Islamic and Coptic monuments within the annual budget of the archeological sector represent a small part of what the sector needs.

He added that the government has allocated about EGP 100m for the restoration of Islamic and Coptic antiquities in the current fiscal year, which is the same amount as last year.

He explained that there are 1,022 Islamic artifacts, including 328 ancient mosques, next to 88 Coptic churches and 11 Jewish temples.

He explained that each artifact requires the allocation of specific financial provision depending on its condition, noting that, on average, the cost ranges between EGP 10m and EGP 20m, which requires much money; hence, the government’s allocations are channeled to saving buildings with a deteriorating situation.

Helmy added that the Islamic and Coptic archeology sector is currently working on the completion of the restoration work for 15 projects at a total cost of EGP 100m, including the restoration of the Zaghloul Mosque in Rashid with a cost of EGP 32m, next to Al-Abbasi Mosque, Al-Zaher Baybars, and some historical buildings in historic Cairo area.

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Antiquities Ministry is excavating at 30 archaeological sites every season https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/antiquities-ministry-excavating-30-archaeological-sites-every-season/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/antiquities-ministry-excavating-30-archaeological-sites-every-season/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:38:12 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634210 Archaeological excavations extend to all the governorates that contain archaeological sites

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The government allocated 25% of the total investments of EGP 90m for the benefit of the Egyptian and Islamic antiquities in various governorates.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said that the amount allocated for archaeological excavations within the government’s Antiquities sector budget for the current fiscal year is sufficient for the nature of the work, since the government does not bear the cost of all excavations.

He added that the amount allocated during the past fiscal year was somewhat larger than the current amount, explaining that the state is trying to rationalise its budget in light of the economic obstacles it currently faces.

He explained that the amount allocated by the government for the excavations, often used in salvage excavations, usually in the areas threatened by urban encroachment, close to agricultural and residential areas, or subject to infringements.

Moreover, he said that the archaeological excavations extend to all the governorates that contain archaeological sites, where work is done at 30 sites per season, which extends over three months each.

There are other excavations to be paid by foreign missions, of which there are currently 180 in Egypt, in addition to the excavations at the expense of others, which are funded by entities wishing to establish projects on land owned by the Ministry of Antiquities or close to archaeological sites.

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Antiquities Ministry expects 10 million visitors in 2017/2018 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/antiquities-ministry-expects-10-million-visitors-20172018/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/antiquities-ministry-expects-10-million-visitors-20172018/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:52:36 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634205 The average revenue of the ministry from the sale of tickets to archaeological sites on the national level ranged between EGP 21-22m per month, totaling EGP 110m in January to May 2016 The Ministry of Antiquities expects that the number of visitors to archaeological sites to reach 10 million, which will realize revenue of EGP …

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The average revenue of the ministry from the sale of tickets to archaeological sites on the national level ranged between EGP 21-22m per month, totaling EGP 110m in January to May 2016

The Ministry of Antiquities expects that the number of visitors to archaeological sites to reach 10 million, which will realize revenue of EGP 377m in the current fiscal year.

Sumaya Benyamin, head of finance at the Ministry of Antiquities, refused to disclose any details about the investment plan during the current fiscal year and the target of revenue.

According to previous statements by Benyamin, the average revenues of the ministry of the sale of tickets to archaeological sites on the national level ranged between EGP 21-22m per month, which adds up to EGP 110m between January and May 2016.

According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Antiquities, the total annual revenues recorded in 2014 reached EGP 229.8m.

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Constructions in the Grand Egyptian Museum reach 70% https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/constructions-grand-egyptian-museum-reach-70/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/18/constructions-grand-egyptian-museum-reach-70/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:16:52 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634190 Total cost of the establishment of the Great Egyptian Museum amount to $1bn, funded by several bodies, including JICA by $760m in a facilitated loan of two tranches 

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Tarek Tawfik, general director and head supervisor of the still under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, said that there are several meetings underway to choose the bodies and the governmental economic bodies that will contribute to the financing of the museum.

According to Tawfik, the total cost of the establishment of the Great Egyptian Museum amount to $1bn. Several parties are involved in financing the project, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which provided a soft fund of $760m over two tranches: $300m and $460m.

The Egyptian government contributes the remaining funds of $300m over three phases. The first part of $100m was completely disbursed last year, while the two remaining parts are set for the current fiscal year.

Regarding the latest developments in the Grand Egyptian Museum project, Tawfik told Daily News Egypt that constructions reached 70% so far, adding that 4,000 artefacts of Tutankhamun’s 5,000 artefacts collection have been moved there.

He added that the rate of construction and movement of antiquities is on track according to the specified timetable, where there is a soft opening expected in 2018.

 

 

 

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Tourist demand in Egypt is increasing, recovery in a year: Rahlat.com official  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/tourist-demand-egypt-increasing-recovery-year-rahlat-com-official/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/tourist-demand-egypt-increasing-recovery-year-rahlat-com-official/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:00:27 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634081 Infrastructure must be improved to meet the needs of Arab travellers, says Messo

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The founder of Rahlat.com, Ellie Messo, stated that the website’s statistics showed that an obvious increase in online searches with prominent destinations such as Egypt.

He added that the demand index for tourist destinations is rising now, which will impact tourism recovery in Egypt within one year or two at most.

Additionally, he pointed out that the company has many plans of partnerships with Egyptian tourism companies, which will benefit the interest of the Arab tourist as well as the tourist destination of Egypt.

According to Messo, Rahlat.com quickly achieved popularity, thanks to free services provided to Arab tourists to enable them to compare and choose the most appropriate and best destinations in terms of places available for tourism, air tickets, and accommodation costs.

The growing demand for the tourism industry is growing, and the number of passengers is increasing more than ever, necessitating serious and efficient handling to meet the increasing needs of the modernisation of travel and tourism technology, according to Messo.

He explained that the tourism industry faces challenges of adapting to modern tourism, and the Middle East in particular suffers from many problems, one of them being tourist safety.

“It is no secret that tourists are very sensitive to any tensions in the planned areas and will not forget the ordinary tourist terrorist attack and despite the scarcity of occurrence and take a re-confidence years. Look at Turkey, since the unrest that occurred a year ago, and Rahlat.com statistics showed a decrease of 50% in hotels and flight bookings to the country,” said Messo.

He added that it is not limited to a country without the other. This is a major blow to any industry, as well as the case in Egypt, which affected the frequencies negatively and decreased the demand on tourism.

He noted that many tourists need facilities similar to what they have in their homes when travelling. In contrast, many tourists see real excitement and pleasure in an experience outside the framework of what is customary in their lifestyle.

Rahlat.com cooperates with hundreds of travel agencies when comparing the prices of airline tickets and hotel rooms. The company’s services are mainly to provide a search engine to compare these prices to the benefit of the Arab tourist.

He said that Egypt is in a steady step in this regard, and the technological services in Egypt are very promising, which is necessary for the development of tourism, that is currently relying on technology mainly.

He added that it would require an increase in tourism applications or to improve infrastructure in the long run to meet the needs of Arab travellers.

He explained that high-speed and stable Internet services are the most basic requirements for all online services and for e-commerce in particular, as reliable payment options over the Internet are very necessary.

“The more people have access to payment cards, the easier it will be for travellers to benefit from price comparisons and to buy directly online, where prices are much lower because of high competition,” he said.

He pointed out that the company’s research department, when it comes to databases, generates a lot of data that results from searches carried out by Arab travelers on Rahlat.com. However, the official data revealed by the tourism authorities and authorities are of great benefit and are always welcome.

“We are an independent entity and we do not advertise any destinations, travel agencies, airlines, or hotels, and our strategy is to continue to deliver smart services to the traveler,” said Messo.

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2.6% growth in passenger traffic at airports during June https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/2-6-growth-passenger-traffic-airports-june/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/2-6-growth-passenger-traffic-airports-june/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:30:21 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633537 Passenger traffic grew by 2.6% in all local airports through June. According to statistics issued by the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN), the traffic reached 1.9 million passengers during June, compared to 1.8 million passengers in the same month last year. Passenger traffic at Cairo International Airport declined by 16.5% to …

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Passenger traffic grew by 2.6% in all local airports through June. According to statistics issued by the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN), the traffic reached 1.9 million passengers during June, compared to 1.8 million passengers in the same month last year.

Passenger traffic at Cairo International Airport declined by 16.5% to 1 million passengers, down from 1.2 million passengers.

The number of passengers at Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport increased by 107% to register 141,000 passenger versus 68,000 passengers in June 2016. As for Hurghada International Airport, passenger traffic has increased by 50% to 318,000, up from 154,000 passengers.

At Borg El-Arab Airport, tourism traffic dropped by 9.5% to 216,000 passengers versus 239,000 in June 2016.The statistics came to show that Marsa Matruh airport received 1,492 passengers during the same month, and El Alamein airport received 246 passengers, up from no traffic at all in June 2016.

The airports of Saint Catherine, Arish, Dakhla, and Taba are still not receiving aircraft. On the movement of aircraft in all airports, the report stated that Egypt saw movement of 20,000 aircraft, in June 2017, up from 19,600 in the same month of last year, an increase of 4.7%.

The traffic at Cairo International Airport declined to 11,600, down from 12,300, marking a drop of 5.6%. In Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, however, the movement of aircraft increased by 67.5% in June to reach 1,400 aircraft, up from 854 in the same month in 2016. At Hurghada airport, aircraft traffic grew by 92.9% in June 2017, marking 2,455 aircraft, up from 1,273 in June 2016.

 

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Daily wage for tour guides increased to EGP 700 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/daily-wage-tour-guides-increased-egp-700/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/daily-wage-tour-guides-increased-egp-700/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:00:56 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633534 The Egyptian General Tourist Guides Syndicate relies on the support provided by the Ministry of Tourism, and is becoming unable to support its members due to the worsening living conditions, requiring the need to allocate part of the income of tourists’ stay in favor of tour guides by not less than $10 per night on …

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The Egyptian General Tourist Guides Syndicate relies on the support provided by the Ministry of Tourism, and is becoming unable to support its members due to the worsening living conditions, requiring the need to allocate part of the income of tourists’ stay in favor of tour guides by not less than $10 per night on the cultural trip programme.

Minister of Tourism Yahya Rashid issued a decree increasing the fees of tour guides to EGP 700 per day and EGP 400 for a half day of work, according to a statement issued by the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association.

The statement, obtained by Daily News Egypt, said that work for a full day is eight hours and one day is four consecutive hours.

Ministerial Resolution No. 209 for the year 2011 set the fee of tour guides at EGP 300 for a full day of work, but tour operators do not apply the law, according to an official at the Egyptian General Tourist Guides Syndicate (EGTGS). The official described the increase as failing in favor of guides to enhance their living conditions in the coming period.

The union official said that the living conditions of more than 10,000 guides are very difficult amid the decline of tourist traffic to Egypt over the past six years.

He explained that the Egyptian General Tourist Guides Syndicate relies on the support provided by the Ministry of Tourism, and is becoming unable to support its members due to the worsening living conditions, requiring the need to allocate part of the income of tourists’ stay in favor of tour guides by not less than $10 per night on the cultural trip programme.

He explained that a large number of guides left their jobs after tour operators dispensed their services following the decline of culture tourism to Egypt over the past year, which made their living conditions worse. These guides have turned to working in the fields of translations or other jobs.

The tourist traffic to Egypt declined during the past year to 4.5 million tourists, down from 9.5 million last year—a decline of 40%.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism aims to boost the number of tourists coming to Egypt to 10 million at the end of this year, up from 4.5 million last year, a Tourism Ministry official told Daily News Egypt.

Cultural tourism is the main source of the work of tour guides in Egypt. This type of tourism was the most impacted over the past six years, when incoming trips from Western European countries, especially Britain and France, were suspended.

The official at the syndicate said that raising the daily fees for tour guides will be a good thing, but still hangs on the inflow of foreigners and tourists to the archaeological areas.

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Steigenberger to complete first phase of Giza hotel by end of 2017: regional manager https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/steigenberger-complete-first-phase-giza-hotel-end-2017-regional-manager/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/steigenberger-complete-first-phase-giza-hotel-end-2017-regional-manager/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:30:07 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633531 All developments of the hotel will be completed by the end of 2018 after that the hotel will be running under the name of Steigenberger, the hotel welcomes guests during this period

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Steigenberger International Hotel Management plans to complete the first phase of the development of the Movenpick Hotel Pyramid in December this year, according to the regional manager of the group in Egypt and the Middle East, Tewfik El Kady, adding that the company contracted to manage the hotel for 15 years.

El Kady added in a private statements to Daily News Egypt that the management company Steigenberger is currently in the process of development and renovation of Movenpick without increasing the capacity of the hotel where the number of rooms will remain the same.

An official of the Tourism Development Company that owns the hotel said in previous statement to Daily News Egypt that the company aims to increase its capacity to 460 rooms, compared to 360 rooms at the present time.

“We were hoping to increase the capacity of the hotel with the expectations of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum next year,” according to the official of the Tourism Development Company.

The museum aims to receive 150,000 visitors a day, which will impact Movenpick Pyramid Hotel, since it is in close proximity to the musem, according to the official.

The tourism development company hopes that the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum near the area of the pyramids will increase the occupancy of the hotel throughout the year, thus raising its revenues and completing the development work according to the official. In addition to that, the area is very promising, in light of the urban expansions implemented by the state in the west of Cairo.

Meanwhile, El Kady said the development work is taking place in two stages, the first of which is six months long and currently underway, while the second will take a year.

According to El Kady, all the development of the hotel will be completed by the end of 2018, and the hotel will operate under the Steigenberger brand after the development is completed, adding that the hotel is not closed and is currently welcoming guests.

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Egyptian Tourism Ministry backtracks on allowing Burkini https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/egyptian-tourism-ministry-backtracks-allowing-burkini/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/egyptian-tourism-ministry-backtracks-allowing-burkini/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:00:45 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633528 Hotels now have the authority to either ban or allow women wearing Burkini from using their pools

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Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism has backtracked on their previous decision to allow women into pools and beaches with Burkini. The ministry authorised the hotels and resorts to decide whether they want to allow or refuse women wearing Burkini from entering their pools and beaches.

On Friday, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism issued an order that was distributed by the Egyptian Hotel Association, forcing hotels to welcome women wearing the body-covering swimsuits, as long as their material is similar to a regular swimming suit.

Moreover, the ministry’s earlier decision forced the resorts that have multiple swimming pools to allocate one of them to veiled women. The decision came in response to complaints received by the ministry under the claim of religious discrimination.

Although Egypt is a country where Islam is the dominant religion and where many of its women are veiled, the controversy of wearing a Burkini on beaches and pools in resorts has been ongoing for several years. In July, a woman was allegedly forced out of North Coast’s Hacienda Bay for wearing a Burkini at the popular beach resort.

The first decision was a step that hasn’t been thoroughly studied, and it shouldn’t have taken place, said Ali Al-Halawany, the head of the Chamber of Red Sea Hotel Facilities. He added that hotels and resorts should have the authority to decide whether to allow Burkini or ban it based on the tourism season and the type of tourists they receive.

The decision came during a tough time for the tourism sector, with the decline of foreign tourism, from 14.7m in 2010 to 5.4m in 2016. Currently, many resorts and hotels are dependent on domestic tourism, making up around 59% of current hotel occupancy rates.

The debate about Burkini has been ongoing in many countries, such as France, where in 2016 Cannes’ mayor decided to ban the swimwear; however, the ban was overturned later by a French court.

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Ministry of Tourism allocates $10m to promote Sharm El-Sheikh resorts https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/ministry-tourism-allocates-10m-promote-sharm-el-sheikh-resorts/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/ministry-tourism-allocates-10m-promote-sharm-el-sheikh-resorts/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:30:35 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633522 Current occupations of Sharm El-Sheikh do not exceed 50% from Ukrainians, Arabs, and Germans, rates of Arabs will increase during the Eid Al-Adha holiday 

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A number of tourism officials and investors said that the new promotional campaign for Sharm El-Sheikh will revive the city again, after a two-year boycott imposed by some countries.

Hisham El Demery, chief of the Tourism Development Authority, said that the campaign will be conducted according to the investors’ vision, along with the vision of the authority and the company responsible for marketing tourism to Egypt, JWT.

He pointed out that the authority allocated $10m to implement the campaign, among the funds allocated for promotional campaigns and not a new amount, adding that the campaign will last for six months.

He pointed out that the choice of the markets of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic, in addition to a number of Arab markets, was agreed upon by the authority and investors.

He also stressed that the authority does not target a specific number of campaigns, but launches them and counts the numbers that are subsequently received.

The head of Egypt’s tourism bureau in Berlin, Mohamed Abdel Gabbar, said that the German market is preparing for all tourism promotional campaigns in the current period, especially as it leads the first place among the countries exporting tourism to Egypt.

He explained that it is expected to receive 664,000 German tourists at the end of August, which is the same number as the year before.

He pointed out that German airlines are calling for the extension of the programme to stimulate the aviation charter and regular flights as it will end in November, noting that it has achieved a lot of demands. He said that this issue is scheduled to be discussed with the Minister of Tourism in the coming period.

He stressed that flights from Germany are treated like the rest of flights from all country airlines.

Moreover, he said that the advertising company JWT is currently developing the final vision of the campaign to start the implementation of the campaign as soon as possible.

The head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, Hisham Ali, said that the first in a series of meetings concerned with launching the promotional campaign for the city of Sharm El-Sheikh has been held. More meetings will be held in the coming period to ensure the success of the campaign.

He pointed out that each country should have a different promotional plan than others, especially in countries that do not fall in one region, because of the nature of citizens that perceive campaigns in different ways.

He stressed that the current tourists in Sharm El-Sheikh are no more than 50% from Ukraine, Arab countries, and Germany and that the rates are scheduled to increase the proportion of Arabs during the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

Ramy Rizkallah, a member of the Committee to Promote Tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh Resort, said that all markets exporting tourists to the city are currently being assessed.

He added that the marketing committee of Sharm El-Sheikh is in the process of setting up events for the benefit of German tour operators during the coming period to activate the movement coming from that market.

He pointed out that the marketing committee is seeking to agree with a public relations company in Germany to learn about the quality of the tourists who want to visit Egypt and the most important interests they have at the moment to start working on it.

Maged Fawzy, head of the Tourism Investors Association in the Red Sea, said that the recent plan announced by the Tourism Development Authority regarding the promotional campaign for Sharm El-Sheikh is illogical under the boycott imposed by some countries.

He explained that Sharm El-Sheikh was dependent on British and Russian tourists and that both states are boycotting Sharm El-Sheikh, noting that both have not decided to resume flights.

He pointed out that contracts for the winter season have been concluded with no impact on the coming season, where the summer season is almost over.

Moreover, he said that there is a desire for the result of the coming committees to Sharm El-Sheikh in the coming days to inspect airports and secure them, which could revive the city again.

He wondered why the campaign had not been implemented before, especially since Sharm El-Sheikh was suffering from the harshness of the boycott from foreign countries since the end of October 2015.

He said that the announcement of JWT taking over the promotional campaign is aggregating, where it is responsible for marketing campaign and will do so naturally.

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Alexandria hotel market on track to achieve occupancy levels of pre-geopolitical challenges in 2011: Colliers International https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/alexandria-hotel-market-track-achieve-occupancy-levels-pre-geopolitical-challenges-2011-colliers-international/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/alexandria-hotel-market-track-achieve-occupancy-levels-pre-geopolitical-challenges-2011-colliers-international/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633525 A forecast report conducted by Colliers International for the hotels of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the three-month period from July to September 2017 has expected the Alexandria hotel market to achieve the occupancy level of pre-geopolitical challenges in 2011. The report noted that a drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR) …

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A forecast report conducted by Colliers International for the hotels of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the three-month period from July to September 2017 has expected the Alexandria hotel market to achieve the occupancy level of pre-geopolitical challenges in 2011.

The report noted that a drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR) is seen in the market due to the deflation of the local currency against US dollar.

Meanwhile, Sharm El-Sheikh market continues to feel the repercussions of travel alerts from a number of European feeder markets.

According to the report, demand hasn’t shown any sign of recovery, and hotels depend heavily on the domestic market to fill rooms.

As for Jordanian Aqaba, the report showed that it continues to benefit from the domestic demand and the demand from visitors of Scandinavian countries, as well as capturing tourists from both Egypt and Turkey.

In Beirut, an increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) is expected to take place and emanate from both average daily rate (ADR) and occupancy rates, according to Colliers International’s report. The report expected the city to witness a busy summer season with high leisure demand from the Lebanese Diaspora living abroad.

Dubai is another busy city this summer, benefiting from schools holidays and the Eid vacation.

Other MENA cities are steady in terms of hotel occupancy, such as Sharjah, where the hotel market in Sharjah is going through a recovery phase with modest growth in occupancy.

“The upcoming Eid holidays and school vacations in the Gulf countries, followed by strong growth in the Chinese market, will keep the RevPAR in line with the rates of last year without declines,” the report said.

Ras Al Khaimah is expected to benefit from the strong local demand over Eid and school holidays—along with international leisure demand from Germany, UK, Russia, and India—will keep the three-month RevPAR growth in line with last year.

Colliers International is a global company in commercial and real estate services with over 15,000 employees operating in 68 countries.

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Go Bus increases fleet to 400 buses https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/go-bus-increases-fleet-400-buses/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/10/go-bus-increases-fleet-400-buses/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:30:57 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633511 Company will buy 100 units worth EGP 300m, according to Nassief

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Maher Nassief, the chairperson of Go Bus, a touristic and domestic transport company, said that the firm contracted to buy 100 buses this year, boosting its fleet to 400 buses. Delivery of these units will go through until the summer of 2019.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Nassief to get the latest information about the company and its future plans.

What are the new investments of the company?

The company contracted to buy 100 new buses at a cost of EGP 300m. We have received 30 of them so far, while the remaining units will be delivered throughout the summer seasons in 2018 and 2019.

How big is the company’s fleet?

The total number of units of the company’s fleet is now at 400. Go Bus renews the fleet every three years. This means that the 2015 models are now the oldest of the buses we have.

Does the company rely on local, or imported buses?

About 70% of the fleet is locally made by MCV. The remaining 30% is imported from Germany through MCV.

How many passengers use the service every day?

Go Bus transports about 5,000 passengers every day in 50 trips, which collectively register 50,000 kms per day.

What are the lines that the company aims to work on?

The company covers all lines in the republic. We have trips in the tourism sector from Cairo that require 500 buses at a cost of EGP 1.5bn, next to lines going to Aswan, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Lower Egypt. This is why we do not plan to add new lines.

By how much did ticket prices increase?

The company was forced to raise prices by 10% across all trips. This is not in fact enough to cover the cost hikes following the flotation of the pound and the fuel price surges.

Will the developments in the tourism transport sector affect the rise in fuel prices and the high cost of maintaining the company’s profits?

 

Go Bus profits will be down by 80% this year due to the high prices and the fixing of transport ticket fees. The company, however, is not working for one year only. We will not cut down our staff, now standing at seven trained employees per bus.

Does the company’s business capacity change seasonally?

The nature of tourism in Egypt is seasonal, so is the transportation of passengers. We work in full capacity during the summer months and holidays, but only by 50% throughout the rest of the year.

What are the most active lines in the current time?

The Cairo-North Coast is the most active now. The company operates 20 trips per day to all compounds of the North Coast to transfer passengers, especially amid the emergence of new compounds that clients seek to travel to.

How much is the company’s share of the transport operations?

The company accounts for 70% of the trips from Cairo to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. The share is down to 20% on the Cairo-Alexandria line. The company is seeking to increase this to 50%. In Upper Egypt, we account for 30%.

What is the company’s highest revenue lines?

The most important lines for Go Bus is the Cairo-Hurghada line, followed by Cairo-Sharm El-Sheikh. But the highest revenue is currently from the Cairo-North Coast line, thanks to the summer season.

What additional services does the company offer customers?

The company offers its customers all services for online booking. We provide tickets through Orange as well. The company collects ticket fees through Fawry outlets and can deliver them to clients’ door through Mashaweer company.

Moreover, Go Bus has recently launched an app for Android and iOS mobiles to make it even easier for clients to book their tickets.

What does the company aim to begin in during the coming period?

The board of directors of the company approved the establishment of a training centre for drivers with investments of up to EGP 10m at the headquarters of Go Bus, which is on an area of 100,000 sqm. The project will be launched before the end of the year.

Furthermore, the project will not only train Go Bus drivers, but will also train drivers of competing companies on how to deal with passengers. Negotiations with the concerned bodies are set to begin within days to obtain the necessary approvals and permits.

How did officials react after the recent bus accident?

First of all, the accident on Al-Alamein road was a move of fate. The bus was from the 2017 units we had and was driven by one of our best and most talented drivers. But a truck suddenly appeared out of nowhere and caused the accident.

The company received committees from the General Authority for Roads, Bridges, & Land Transport to inspect all the buses and ensure they are safe and conform to all specifications and standards. Therefore, no action was taken against the company.

The response of the responsible authorities was consistent with the contract between the company and the Public Transport Authority.

How much is the insurance value paid from the company in case of death? Was this applied in the last accident?

Go Bus has a life insurance in bus accidents at EGP 100,000 next to a mandatory insurance worth EGP 40,000. This was applied in the last accident.

The company also paid for the treatment of those who accepted it, while others completely rejected the company’s contribution to their treatment.

Did the last incident affect the occupancy rate of the company?

The company’s occupancy rate has not been affected by the recent incident on all lines.

How does the high bank interest rate affect company plans?

The rise in the bank interest rate stops the company’s plan to expand according to the shareholders’ wishes, because the transport activity is high in risk and does not encourage investment.

Go Bus is a company made up of 30 shareholders that include banks and financiers among others.

In addition, the company has another subsidiary for transportation in Upper Egypt, Golden Horse Transportation, which operates 40 buses, as well as the Al Asima, which that also owns 40 buses for transportation in East Delta.

What are the current negotiations between the company and the Ministry of Tourism?

The company is in the process of contracting with the Ministry of Tourism. The Steering Committee of the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association will provide six uses during the Hajj season in three vital sites in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

The tourist transport fleet allocated for the transport of pilgrims this year suffers from a lack of numbers of units. Bus crises are many and surprising. Pilgrims cannot be disrupted from performing rituals, especially since they have specific timetables that cannot be delayed.

Go Bus is the only company that owns buses from the 2017 models. Therefore, it will be contracted within days on the provision of buses.

How much investment is needed for the tourism transport sector in general?

The sector needs 500 buses at a cost of EGP 1.5bn, where the price per bus is EGP 3m. This fleet can accommodate the tourism movement once it recovers.

What are the problems facing tourism transport?

The problems of the tourist transport sector include the rise in the prices of new buses and the rise in the prices of spare parts for old buses.

Among the problems facing the sector is also the high prices of diesel and petrol, which hinders the replacement and renewal processes.

 

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MTI ‘flirts’ with its customers in Porto Marina https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/mti-flirts-customers-porto-marina/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/mti-flirts-customers-porto-marina/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632969 MTI, the exclusive agent for Jaguar and Land Rover in Egypt, has organised a driving test for the company’s customers and media professionals over the last three days to try the company’s products for 2018, which will appear for the first time during this event. The company has organised the driving test on all its …

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MTI, the exclusive agent for Jaguar and Land Rover in Egypt, has organised a driving test for the company’s customers and media professionals over the last three days to try the company’s products for 2018, which will appear for the first time during this event.

The company has organised the driving test on all its cars to identify their various capabilities and new technology that was added in some models, especially safety measures.

The global parent company always organises the same tests all over the world at the same time.

Islam Tawfek, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at MTI, said that the parent company pays special interest to its customers, adding that it offers such driving tests for its current and new customers who want to acquire different models of the company’s vehicles. He noted that the event is mainly concerned with safety factors.

The company has been promoting its products in the North Coast every year, but this year it is holding the event in Porto Marina.

Tawfek said that this year’s event is completely different from previous years, as new models will be released for the first time, and there is another conceding world event for Jaguar and Land Rover models, dubbed “Land Marketing”.

He added that the company chose Porto Marina because it matches with the safety and security rules that are placed by the international company for such tests.

Porto Marina also offers a large space, which allows drivers to show the cars’ different capabilities.

The global team of drivers has demonstrated the concepts of smooth driving with large SUVs in an attempt to change the misconception about the difficulty of driving these kinds of cars in crowded cities.

Therefore, the team chose this place to reflect the smoothness of driving this category of vehicle, which offers high technology and a highly responsive steering wheel in curves and rotations in the narrowest areas.

The test trail was chosen carefully to indicate the ability of the models in exceptional driving conditions.

In order to measure the quality of the brakes, the testers were asked to use the brakes only at the maximum speed and in a narrow area.

These measures will show that driving the large SUVs, which MTI represents in Egypt, has become very smooth.

The trail built for Jaguar basically aims to show the cars’ abilities in the most difficult of situations that may be experienced in daily life and how to avoid them in a timely manner.

The team also focused on the quality of brakes and the period required for the car to stop completely, which is one of the most prominent features of Jaguar cars.

Tawfek said that the company intends to release the Jaguar F-Pace in the near future with a 2.0-liter engine, at a price of EGP 1.95 million.

He added that the Egyptian auto sector has been affected significantly and witnessed a severe decline in sales due to the high prices of vehicles after the flotation of the pound.

“The market will return to its normal condition through the outstanding monetary policy announced by the government, which will bear fruit in the near future,” said Tawfek.

He added that the company’s sales achieved slight growth rates compared to last year.

Tawfek was asked if his company benefited from the decision to float the local currency and if it led to an increase in sales.

He said, “Actually, yes. Perhaps because the large increase in prices made the cars’ prices very close, especially in [the SUV] category, and the customer now chooses his car according to new criteria that did not exist in the past, which led to an increase in demand for our products.”

Tawfek added that the parent company has provided cars with 2,000cc engines in the last few years, which led to increasing the demand and strengthening competition in the Egyptian market.

He pointed out that it is difficult for the parent company to abandon its factories and establish new production lines inside Egypt, although it can supply some parts; however, this will not happen as easily as some expect. It is very complicated and the company’s conditions are difficult.

On the other hand, Tawfek asserted that MTI cares about its customers and recently opened a pilot service centre in Katameya, which will officially be opened in the near future and will be accompanied by a new showroom equipped with the latest global systems.

Regarding the replacement policy, he said that the company accepts replacing the cars, stressing that this system has recently been developed under the management of Abdel Kader Talaat to satisfy all customers of the company.

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Agami to Marassi: evolution of North coast trendiest destinations https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/agami-marassi-evolution-north-coast-trendiest-destinations/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/agami-marassi-evolution-north-coast-trendiest-destinations/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:00:38 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632962 Average renting price for 1 day ranges from EGP 500 up to EGP 15,000

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Since the 1950s until the beginning of the millennium, Alexandria’s Maamoura was the hottest and the finest destination for the summer vacation. This is the first choice for any film shooting in order to capture the scenes of the sea and the spirit of summer vacation.

However, the summer destination started to change in the 1990s, with Agami being the trendiest vacationers destination at this time, in order to escape from the increasing crowd and try to reach the finest place that be dedicated to comfort.

Vacationers trendiest spot and started to move rapidly along the coast of Alexandria, marking the beginning of the emergence of what we know now as the North Coast, where currently more than 30 touristic villages, starting by the Army’s village of Sidi Krir, at the Kilo 34 in the Alexandria-Matruh Road until the Sidi Abdel Rahman coast near the Matruh governorate borders.

The North Coast became the most popular summer destination in Egypt, where its fame exceeded even Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Alexandria.

Marina was the hottest trend in the early 2000s, hosting concerts of Amr Diab, Mohamed Mounir, and many other famous artists, being the most famous and most expensive area in the North Coast, where because most of Egypt’s celebrities, politicians, and public figures reside there in the summer season.

But even Marina did not last long, with the emergence of more expensive and luxurious destinations. It became a thing of the past, losing its previous glory to a number of new touristic resorts, which are restricted to only the owners, such as Marassi, Hacienda Bay, Amwaj, and many others on the Sidi Abdel Rahman coast.

6ix Degrees, the club that was at the centre of controversy this year, is one of the North Coast’s top nightlife destinations. Its usual entrance fees was EGP 1,200

North Coast rentals

Yet, the prices of housing units and tourist rentals in the north-west coast witnessed a violent decline, the current season witnessed an unusual static, especially in the Easter Holidays and before the month of Ramadan, indicating and acting as a warning of a catastrophic decline in prices this season for the first time.

In this regard, Ahmed Abdul Hamid, a rental broker in the North Coast, said that many of the contracting offices, brokers had partially closed since several months, particularly after the flotation of the pound, but some of them almost completely closed after the Easter holidays by mid-April, after they has not been able to accommodate any visitors under the severe economic conditions.

He said that the average price of renting the chalet dropped to EGP 300 a day from EGP 900, explaining that the purchasing price per metre at the Lotus resort currently fell to EGP 2,200 from its 2016 price of EGP 4,000, pointing out that the units offered are more than the demand, confirming that the North Coast suffers an unprecedented stagnation in rents.

He pointed out that Marina specifically did not witness the usual occupancy rates that were achieved in previous years during the summer season, noting that many of the families were exploiting the examination period in order to spend their vacation in Marina, Lotus, and other tourist resorts in the North Coast—but vacationers refrained from the presence this year despite a decline in rent prices by more than half.

He said that in the season of 2017, a number of food production companies did withdraw its merchandise from large stores, in anticipation of that their products will reach their expiry dates without being sold, as well as the reluctance of the contractors for the maintenance of the chalet rental units in preparation for the new summer season in light of rising prices of the employment of maintenance.

However, the renting prices of Sidi Abdel Rahman didn’t witness the same decline, where the rental prices in Marassi start from EGP 3,500 for a small chalet up to EGP 15,000 for a villa in one day. Hacienda Bay’s rent prices for one day started from EGP 4,000 for a small chalet to EGP 10,000 for a villa, and Amwaj case rentals started from EGP 2,500 up to EGP 8,000.

Regarding the North Coast’s night life, 6ix Degrees, the club that was at the centre of controversy this year, is one of the North Coast’s top nightlife destinations. Its usual entrance fees was EGP 1,200, while for the second most famous destination is Amwaj’s Tabla, where the entrance fee started from EGP 1,000. On the other hand, Martin’s Beach Club located in Bo Islands, one of the trendiest places this summer, requires a membership although non members are selectively admitted as well.

Martin’s Beach Club located in Bo Islands, one of the trendiest places this summer

Matruh: the less expensive alternative

On the other hand, the beaches of Matruh governorate, which is a less expensive popular destination witnessed a decline in rental demand after Eid Al-Fitr vacation, a number of workers in the beaches believe that the latest rise in fuel prices is the reason for this retreat.

Ahmed Gamal, a real estate broker for furnished apartments rentals, told Daily News Egypt that the occupancy rate this season witnesses a decrease compared to the same time last year, where the occupancy rates registered at around 50% at the start of the summer, and they retreated further after the end of the Eid Al-Fitr to 30%, where the number of families cancelled the booking actually after the announcement of the rise in fuel prices.

“However, we cannot be so firmly sure about the real cause, as it might be due to the fact that many families are waiting for the result of the general secondary school,” said Gamal. Adding that in any case, they are waiting until the beginning of August.

Gamal explained that everyone relies on the return of the flow of vacationers to their Eid holiday levels, especially that rent prices for this season are low, where the lease of apartments in the tourist places start from EGP 200 per night and go all the way up to a maximum of EGP 1,000—last year, at the same time, the prices of summer resort units registered a minimum of EGP 250 for an apartment and EGP 1,500 as a maximum price. Last year, rental prices for chairs and umbrellas on the beach did not exceed EGP 50 for 4 people.

b The beaches of Matruh governorate, which is a less expensive popular destination witnessed a decline in rental demand

Mohamed Saeed, a restaurant owner in Matruh, confirmed that higher fuel prices have led to a marked decline in the percentage of occupancy rates at the beaches of Marsa Matruh, especially that all land transport connections had increased the value of the service, which, in turn, led to an increase in the turnout on railway lines, which did not raise prices, but it is slow in comparison to the buses to the presence of an old single line linking Marsa Matruh to the North Coast of Alexandria.

The duration of the train trip from Cairo to Marsa Matruh takes up to eight hours, which is cumbersome to many families, especially to the elderly and children, owing to the poor conditions of trains and the limited services provided throughout these hours, which pushed many of them to change their mind from heading to Matruh.

Hassan Abd-El Hameed, one of the workers in Matruh’s Ageeba beach, confirmed that the turnout this season has declined, especially after the hike in fuel prices in June, which made people fear the increasing of the prices of other services as a result. Consequently, some people refrain from the idea of travel to Matruh, while other vacationers decided to reduce the duration of their stay to 3-4 days at most instead of 7 days in order to save expenses.

On his part, Hussein El-Sawi, director of the Department of Tourism in Matruh governorate said the that the recorded occupancy rate in hotels did not exceed 50%, throughout the Matruh governorate in both the North Coast or Matruh’s capital city. El-Sawi explained that Matruh  has many factors that make it a hot touristic destination,  especially with the availability of drinking water, after running the water desalination stations, and the many different entertainment theme parks and cinemas, as well as the open and public beaches at affordable prices.

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There must be recreational investments, services in North Coast to serve tourism: Balbaa  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/must-recreational-investments-services-north-coast-serve-tourism-balbaa/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/must-recreational-investments-services-north-coast-serve-tourism-balbaa/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:30:33 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632959 The region is able to attract more than 5,000 yachts a year roaming the Mediterranean Sea, including the high rates of spending and the employment of Egyptian labour by pumping new investments into the region

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The chairperson of the Tourism Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA) Ahmed Balbaa called for expanding the land offers to investors in the North Coast during the upcoming period. The proposals should vary whether in terms of area and construction, to include hotels, entertainment, and services.

According to Balbaa, the North Coast needs to increase the capacity of the hotels during the next five years while diversifying the tourist products in the region so do not include only hotels as is the case across all coastal areas in Egypt, making tourists stay inside the hotel all day.

He pointed out that the North Coast currently requires hotel investments and that there should be a strategy to expand leisure investments of yachts in the Mediterranean and marine sports.

“The region is able to attract more than 5,000 yachts a year roaming the Mediterranean Sea, which will impact both the spending rates and the functionality of labours in Egypt as a result of injecting new investments into the region,” said Balbaa.

He said that investments in the region should be in line with the development of the local community to take the form of a partnership. In addition, it is necessary to have real tourism where visitors can get out of the hotel, walk in the streets, or go to the desert for safari trips.

On the other hand, the CEO of the Tourism Development Authority (TDA), Serag El din Saad previously mentioned in a statement to Daily News Egypt that any development in the region takes place in agreement with the governorate of Matruh.

Nevertheless, the region is very promising, and there are negotiations with Arab and foreign investors to acquire land to set up various tourist resorts that provide entertainment and tourism services, according to Saad.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in Marsa Alam, Adel Rady, said that reducing the fees in the Egyptian ports will make Egypt compete with Greece, Turkey, and Italy in attracting yacht owners. “This kind of tourism is popular and involves the rich across the world,” he said.

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10% increase in price of tickets for all trips to any area or tourist province https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/10-increase-price-tickets-trips-area-tourist-province/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/10-increase-price-tickets-trips-area-tourist-province/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:00:49 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632948 Tourist transport companies cannot take advantage of the initiatives and loans offered by banks, given the high interest rates, which reached 20%

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Maher Nassif, chairperson of the board of Hepton Tourism Transport Company, said that the tourist traffic to the North Coast declined from last year at the present time without specifying the percentage of decline.

Nassif attributed in an interview with Daily News Egypt that going to the North Coast by buses declined, due to that the majority of Egyptians preferring to travel to the region through their cars.

What is the rate of the North Coast trips via buses compared to other regions?

The North Coast trips via buses or cars owned by private companies is relatively low compared to the same period last year, with other areas such as Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, accounting for the largest percentage.

With full occupancy rates on buses heading to Hurghada or South Sinai 100% full rate for coming or going trips from those areas compared to low fill rates heading to the North Coast.

Due to the high turnout in the Red Sea and South Sinai regions, hotels are offering the same price as other hotels in the North Coast.

It is not about the low demand for transportation on the North Coast through private buses to double demand because of prices, but also the preference of families and individuals to move their own cars to those areas.

How many tours do the company run daily for different areas?

Hepton has been carrying about 50 land trips a day since the start of the summer season, and these trips are going to various tourist areas in the country, whether in Hurghada, South Sinai, or the North Coast.

Has the price of land trip tickets increased during the current season?

Certainly, the increase in the price of fuel, as recorded 10% increase in the price of tickets for all trips to any area or tourist province.

And tourist transport companies were forced to raise prices because those recent increases in fuel “increases were not unnecessary”.

What are the obstacles facing the tourism transport sector with the banks?

Tourist transport companies cannot take advantage of the initiatives and loans offered by banks, given the high interest rates, which reached 20%.

Companies can take advantage of bank loans to renew their transport fleet, if they carry only about 50% of the value of the buses, which reached EGP 3.3m for the medium-class buses of Mercedes or MCV.

And we hope that the situation will change over the next year with the improvement of the inflow of tourists to Egypt, as the tourist companies in the current period works fleets on the domestic tourism traffic destined for the various coastal areas.

Are there restrictions on renewing the bus fleet?

There were already restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Tourism obligating tourist transport companies to replace and renew the buses periodically to keep pace with the model of recent years.

In the recent period, the tourism sector in a state of stagnation, forcing companies not to commit to renew the models of buses because of high prices in return for the decline in income due to the lack of tourist traffic to Egypt during the past years.

Most of the fleets of tourism currently allocate the 2009 models of buses for the transportation of pilgrims, while the older models such as the 2007 model, were somewhat allocated to internal transportation destined to most of the touristic governorates inside Egypt.

The tourist transport sector suffers from a total stagnation with the inability to afford the replacement and renewal of the existing bus fleet.

Most of tourist fleets are currently confined to domestic Egyptian flights or Hajj and Umrah trips.

In the event of the return of foreign tourism to normal rates, not all existing fleets of tourist transport will be sufficient to accommodate the volume of traffic and flights.

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North Coast resorts await promotion in European markets https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/north-coast-resorts-await-promotion-european-markets/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/03/north-coast-resorts-await-promotion-european-markets/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632942 The North Coast resorts' capacity amounts to 4,000 rooms, of which 50% is located in Marsa Matruh which includes 5-star hotels

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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.

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CBE’s initiative to finance hotel renovation is “mere deceit”: chairperson of Tourism Investors Association https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/cbes-initiative-finance-hotel-renovation-mere-deceit-chairperson-tourism-investors-association/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/cbes-initiative-finance-hotel-renovation-mere-deceit-chairperson-tourism-investors-association/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:00:01 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632376 The initiative has not benefited any tourism investor and needs to be implemented on the ground

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Chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in the Red Sea Kamel Abu Ali described the initiative launched by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to finance the renovation of hotels as “ink on paper and mere deceit.”

He told Daily News Egypt that the initiative has not benefited any tourism investor and needs to be implemented on the ground.

Abu Ali said it is not suitable now to inject capital in the tourism sector, as the Albatros Group recently closed a large hotel in Hurghada with a capacity of 360 rooms.

He pointed out that the recent period witnessed the closure of 25% of the hotels operating in the province.

In February, the CBE launched an initiative to finance hotel renovations, worth EGP 5bn at a 10% interest rate and a maximum of 10 years according to the customer’s credit study.

The initiative requires that the financing should be directed to regular customers to conduct the necessary renovations of hotels, floating hotels, and tourist transport fleets.

Vice President of the Tourism Investors Association in Marsa Alam Tarek Shalabi said the situation became very bad for troubled investors who do not regularly pay their dues’ installments, as banks tend to marginalise such investors.

This policy makes the investors unable to obtain any new loans from the banks unless they repay the previous loans.

The banks finance 75% of the renovation process cost, while the borrower finances 25% of the total cost.

Hisham Ali, chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, said that the CBE has already completed all the procedures and executive regulations for the implementation of the initiative; however, the banks have not offered the new loans yet, as they wait for completing credit studies for each customer or facility.

He pointed out that the customers’ credit studies vary according to the establishment date of the facilities, the number of rooms, and the size of needed renovation.

Ali called on banks to speed up the completion of the required studies, as most hotels, especially in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, have applied for the initiative and still await a response.

He stressed that the hotels need to be rescued quickly, as their conditions get worse day by day, demanding a timetable of not less than two years for the renovation process.

Nagy Erian, a former board member of the Chamber of Tourism Establishments, said that the initiative did not provide the desired benefit. “None of the applicants has received the support agreed upon by the initiative,” said Erian.

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Ministry of Tourism is betting on increasing expenditure rate by year end to reach $85 per person https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/ministry-tourism-betting-increasing-expenditure-rate-year-end-reach-85-per-person/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/ministry-tourism-betting-increasing-expenditure-rate-year-end-reach-85-per-person/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:30:01 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632373 This spending rate is still weak compared to the other tourist destinations competing for Egypt, including Dubai, for example, as the average spending rate of tourists per day is $180, which is a big difference between the two countries: according to an official

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According to an official at the Ministry of Tourism, the expenditure rate by the end of the year will rise to $85 from $76 at the end of last year. However, tourism experts said that the average spending does not exceed $35 dollars per person per night.

The average expenditure rate this year was markedly improved compared to last year’s spending rate of just over $75 per person per night, said the official.

The average rate of foreign tourists’ spending at Egyptian destinations rose to about $85 per night during the first half (H1) of 2017 compared with last year, which recorded $76 a night, said head of the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) Mustafa Sultan.

Nevertheless, this rate is still considered weak compared to the other tourist destinations competing with Egypt, which includes Dubai, for example, with the average spending rate of tourists per day $180, which is obviously a huge difference between the two countries, according to Sultan.

In addition to that, Sultan attributed the main reason for the decline in the expenditure rate of tourists for Egyptian destinations to the weakness of the role of the Egyptian Tourism Authority in promoting Egypt and the apparent lack of using digital marketing over the internet, which is contested by all countries to attract tourism.

According to a member of the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association and Chairperson of the Committee of Foreign Tourism Adel Zaki, the average daily spending of tourists in Egyptian destinations is weak and does not exceed $35, compared to statements indicating that the expenditure rate reaches $84.

Zaki explained that the cost of a trip, flight, and accommodation for a week, whether in Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, or Marsa Alam, including all meals and even alcoholic beverages, do not exceed €450 for a double room.

Tourists usually do not have to leave the hotel to buy gifts or food. The hotel room rate is only $25 per night, as well as one day trips from Hurghada to Luxor, for example, which do not exceed €17 per person, according to Zaki.

Meanwhile, treasurer of the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association Ahmed Ibrahim said that the tourist spending rate dropped from last year according to the dollar exchange rate against the pound after the government’s decision to float the currency at the end of last year.

Ibrahim pointed out that compared with the spending rate during last year, which was $76 per night or EGP 684 when the dollar exchange rate was then EGP 9, the current spending rate does not exceed $38 due to the high value of the dollar, currently at EGP 18.

Nevertheless, according to the Ministry of Tourism, the Arab, Japanese, and South African tourists are among the highest segments of expenditure rates.

Expenditure rates vary according to the type of products desired by the visitor, as it increases the tourism of archaeological sites on the beach, according to the former chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Tourism.

The number of tourists reached 6.5 million during the fiscal year 2016/2017, with revenues of $4.8bn, as a result of the decline in the number of tourists from Russia and England, in particular in the H1 of the fiscal year.

Tourist arrivals accounted for 4.3 million tourists from Europe and 255,000 tourists from India, China, and Japan, out of 6.9 million tourists.

Tourism revenues from Europe reached about $2.5bn during the fiscal year 2015/2016 and are expected to rise to $2.8bn for the current fiscal year and $17bn over the medium term until 2019/2020.

On the other hand, the number of tourists coming from Arab countries reached 1.8 million tourists, with revenues of $1bn in 2015/2016, and the number of Arab tourists is expected to reach 2 million tourists with revenues of about $1.2bn in 2016/2017.

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Egypt aims to attract 10 million tourists by year end: official https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/egypt-aims-attract-10-million-tourists-year-end-official/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/egypt-aims-attract-10-million-tourists-year-end-official/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:00:56 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632370 The expected revenues for the current fiscal year are estimated at $7.8bn, compared to $4.8bn last year, a growth of %62.5. The revenues are expected to reach $28.4bn in FY 2019/20

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The Ministry of Tourism aims to attract 10 million tourists by the end of this year, while the tourism sector received 4.5 million tourists last year, a senior government official said.

All indicators of tourist flows during the first half of this year were very good compared to last year, which would increase spending rates by the end of December compared to last year, the official said on condition of anonymity.

He pointed out that promotional campaigns in the European markets are working hard, whether through marketing company GWT or foreign offices of the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA).

He explained that there is full coordination between all institutions operating in the sector, whether those owned by the state or by the private sector, including hotel management companies operating in Egypt and tourism organisations to increase the tourist inflow to Egypt this year.

The tourism sector has experienced a decline of 40% last year compared to 2015 after some European countries suspended their tourist trips to Egypt.

According to a report issued by the Ministry of Planning, the current fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 is expected to witness an increase in the number of visitors to Egypt up to 10.5 million compared to 6.5 million during the last fiscal year, with a growth of 61.5%.

The official added that the expected revenues in the current FY are estimated at $7.8bn compared to $4.8bn in the last year, with a growth of 62.5%, while the expected revenues of FY 2019/20 are $28.4bn.

According to the report, the expected tourist inflow in FY 2019/20 are 20 million tourists, mainly from Arab countries and new markets, whether in Europe or in Central, East, and South Asia.

According to the government official, the ministry is working in accordance with a marketing strategy based on old or new market studies, using the tourism indicators issued by the World Tourism Organization.

He added that the Ministry of Tourism monitors all changes in the spending average of tourists, their nationalities, and the targeted tourism patterns in the framework of the marketing process organised by the ministry during the current period.

He said that the Ministry of Tourism has developed a method that conforms to the standards of the World Tourism Organization in calculating the number of visitors to Egypt and revenues in coordination with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) and the Passports and Immigration Authority. Egypt is the first country in the Middle East to follow this new system, he noted.

He pointed out that the estimated numbers released by the Ministry of Planning came in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.

According to the report, the number of tourists coming from Europe will rise to 6 million, compared to 4.7 million in the last FY, while Arab tourism will rise to 2.6 million compared to 2 million tourists last year.

The Ministry of Tourism also hopes to increase the number of tourists coming from India, China, and Japan to 322,000 tourists compared to 248,000 last year.

According to the official, those Asian visitors are cultural tourists, and they spend more money compared to other tourists who only come for beaches, whether in the Red Sea or South Sinai.

He concluded that the government works on entering new markets in central Asia and North African countries in the coming period, pointing out that they are coordinating with the private sector regarding the North African countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

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Tourism Ministry aims to boost investments to EGP 12.5bn in 2017/2018 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/tourism-ministry-aims-boost-investments-egp-12-5bn-20172018/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/27/tourism-ministry-aims-boost-investments-egp-12-5bn-20172018/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 06:00:21 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632358 ETA may offer land plots in EGP, others in USD, especially those with great tourist potential 

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The Ministry of Tourism aims to attract investments to the sector during the current fiscal year of about EGP 13.342bn, of which 94% shall come from the private sector and 6% from the public sector.

A report issued by the Ministry of Planning said that the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) plans to implement investments of EGP 12.5bn this year, next to projects worth EGP 842m by public sector companies.

An official with the ETA said that the authority will offer 18.7 million sqm in several tourist areas on the Red Sea, including the Gamsha Bay area (8.160 million sqm) for a tourist resort; an area south of Magawish (4.5 million sqm) for an entertainment project; in Marsa Wazar (1.5 million sqm) for a tourist resort; and another area in Sharm el-Fakiri (4.5 million sqm) for a tourist resort.

“We are awaiting the issuance of the bylaws of the New Investment Law to establish rules for determining the price of land under the ETA’s jurisdiction in partnership with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI),” the official said.

He added that the ETA may offer some plots in Egyptian pounds and others in US dollars, especially those with great tourist potential due to proximity to tourist areas or services of roads and airports.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism provided the Ministry of Planning with all the data related to the investment plan and land offerings in the current fiscal year to put together the indicators of the sector and its weight in the Egyptian economy.

Ahmed Balbaa, chairperson of the Tourism Committee of the Businessmen’s Association, said that the four investment opportunities that will be offered this year will be good, adding that the government should not expand in offering lands in other areas such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, as they need entertainment and services investments.

The hotel industry in the Red Sea and South Sinai regions accounts for about two-thirds of the hotel’s operating capacity in Egypt, according to the chairperson of the tourism committee, which means that the sector needs to diversify its portfolio between hotels, services, and entertainment.

Balbaa demands that the pricing of the land should include the cost of investment to attract capital according to the expected revenues of the projects.

The report issued by the Ministry of Planning said that the government investments in the sector are reaching EGP 842m including the investment of the 203 law companies, which invest about EGP 749m, accounting for 89% of the total public sector investments. About 8% of investments are by economic bodies, next to 3% from the government.

The government investments during the current fiscal year are aimed at developing and improving the tourist sites in Upper Egypt and completing the upgrading of the roads in Abu Simbel City in Aswan at a cost of EGP 9.8m, the development of the Ring Road in Abu Simbel, the development of archaeological areas in Luxor, and establishing three entry points to the roads leading to the Tuna Mountain area in Minya.

Moreover, the tourist areas in the Sinai Peninsula will be developed, the port of Rwaq will be upgraded, next to completing the lighting of the port and developing the parks and gardens adjacent to the Corniche and within the reconstruction district in Bir El-Abd. In addition, the government aims to develop the squares in Al-Arish and light the first 8 km part of the Nabaq-Airport Road with solar energy at a cost of EGP 4.2m.

According to the report, the economic agencies are aiming at implementing investments worth EGP 70m, of which 50% is in the national project for the development of Sinai with EGP 35m, including the establishment of the Nakhilah Town Road extending over 6.3 km and the Ras Melab road extending over 10.5 km.

Finally, the project of establishing integrated tourism infrastructure development gets 35.7% (EGP 25m) for the establishment of new roads that will contribute to the promotion of tourist land plots under the jurisdiction of the ETA, such as the Shuni Maureen Road with a length of 5.5 km, an internal road south of Magawish along 2.5 km, and completing the road south of Magawish extending over 4 km.

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Egypt Air will not change ticket prices for Hajj season, Saudi Airlines set lower prices https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/26/egypt-air-will-not-change-ticket-prices-hajj-season-saudi-airlines-set-lower-prices/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/26/egypt-air-will-not-change-ticket-prices-hajj-season-saudi-airlines-set-lower-prices/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 15:54:47 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=632384 Egypt Air will not change its ticket pricing for the current Hajj season, company chairperson Safwat Musallam told Daily News Egypt. “We don’t have any intention to change the prices for Hajj season. The prices have been set previously by a committee and we think it is fair,” Musallam explained to Daily News Egypt. The …

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Egypt Air will not change its ticket pricing for the current Hajj season, company chairperson Safwat Musallam told Daily News Egypt.

“We don’t have any intention to change the prices for Hajj season. The prices have been set previously by a committee and we think it is fair,” Musallam explained to Daily News Egypt.

The company price schemes for the current Hajj season range between EGP 10,600 and EGP 29,000, according to a document.

Meanwhile, Saudi Airlines has priced their Hajj season tickets amid a fierce competition with Egypt Air.

According to a document seen by Daily News Egypt, Saudi Airlines has priced its economy class ticket between EGP 8,000 and EGP 17,900.

For its business class, ticket prices range between EGP 10,000 and EGP 23,000.

The initial prices came without adding taxes and other fees.

Commenting on the pricing plans for Egypt Air, Basel El Sisi, member of the General Assembly for Tourism Company told Daily News Egypt that the pricing plan for Egypt Air would harm the season for most of companies working in the market.

“Saudi Airlines prices are lower than Egypt Air by almost EGP 10,000. This is a big difference. The pricing plan will badly affect Egypt Air as well,” he added.

Egypt Air had previously angered tour companies by pricing their Hajj season tickets too high and driving them to look to other airlines when offering packages.

The company had managed to transfer around 450,000 pilgrims on Egypt Air planes during this Umrah season, which ended on July 10.

Umrah and Hajj seasons are regulated by Saudi authorities to ensure that the holy sites and lodging in Makkah and Madinah are able to accommodate millions of visitors, which is needed for crowd control and to avoid cases of death.

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Egyptian Travel Agencies Association rents 5 buses to support Pilgrimage https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/egyptian-travel-agencies-association-rents-5-buses-support-pilgrimage/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/egyptian-travel-agencies-association-rents-5-buses-support-pilgrimage/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:30:18 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631956 Electronic route required by Saudi authorities stipulates listing names of pilgrims and programmes, only accepts over 50 names, companies have to cooperate with others if they have fewer names

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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.

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Stability Red Sea hotel occupancies during current week: Red Sea Tourism Investors Association official https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/stability-red-sea-hotel-occupancies-current-week-red-sea-tourism-investors-association-official/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/stability-red-sea-hotel-occupancies-current-week-red-sea-tourism-investors-association-official/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:00:28 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631959 The hotel capacity in the Red Sea governorate is about 35% of the working capacity operating in Egypt and represents about 45% of revenues for the tourism sector according to Chamber of Tourism Establishments

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An official at the Association of Tourism Investors in the Red Sea said that there was stability in the occupancy rates of hotels during the current week, and there were no cancellations at tourist facilities on the back of the recent terrorist attack.

The occupancy rates in Hurghada hotels are currently ranging between 50% and 65% this week, which is expected to increase with the inflow of Egyptian families for summer vacation during the next two months, according to the official.

On the other hand, seven tourists of different nationalities had been stabbed by a person in Hurghada, killing two German tourists this week.

Meanwhile, the hotel capacity in the Red Sea governorate is about 35% of the working capacity operating in Egypt and represents about 45% of the revenues for the tourism sector, according to the Chamber of Tourism Establishments.

The official also stated that the handling of the crisis was very good, both in terms of media handling and the lack of conflicting statements by officials about the incident, with the emphasis that the incident is individual and happening in all places in the world in the recent period and not only Egypt, which is exposed to terrorism.

Nevertheless, the tourist traffic to Egypt declined last year to 4.5 million tourists, compared with 9.5 million tourists during the previous year—a decrease of 40%.

“We hope that the occupancy rate will improve from October 2017 until 2018, so that Egyptian tourism will recover, as many companies will start resuming their flights to various tourist destinations in Egypt,” the official said.

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Tourism Ministry reviews documents of 3 companies to disburse charter flights incentives https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/tourism-ministry-reviews-documents-3-companies-disburse-charter-flights-incentives/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/tourism-ministry-reviews-documents-3-companies-disburse-charter-flights-incentives/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:30:44 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631949 Ministry of Tourism has disbursed $330,000 as a first tranche to Egyptian airports company as part of the dues of German airlines for organising tours to Egyptian destinations in November 2016

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The charter flights incentives programme of the Ministry of Tourism is currently reviewing the paperwork of three Ukrainian and German airlines, to pay their dues for December 2016.

A source at the ministry said that the review is in progress, as part of the framework aimed at encouraging airlines to fly more trips to Egyptian tourist destinations.

Ministry of Tourism has disbursed $330,000 as a first tranche to the Egyptian airports company as part of the dues of German airlines for organising tours to Egyptian destinations in November 2016.

The source explained that six government agencies, including the Tourism Ministry, are reviewing the required documents. These documents include the total statement of the flights, including charter, mixed,  regular low cost trips, dates, name of airlines, flight number, capacity, detonation, and eligibility of incentives.

He pointed out that the payment of the dues of the airlines is paid to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The Ministry of Tourism allocated a sum in US dollars for the incentives programme between 1 November 2016 and 31 October 2017 to cover all flights. The incentive value ranges from $2,000 and $6,000. The aviation incentive system includes all airports with Egyptian tourist destinations, totalling nine airports.

It was agreed to transfer the aviation incentive file from the Egyptian Tourism Federation to the Egyptian Tourism Authority, as the incentives programme is part of the promotion campaign.

Egypt was one of the first countries to adopt the incentives on charter flights to encourage them bring more tour operators and mass tourism amid the spread of all inclusive trips. This took place in 2002/2003.

The Ministry of Tourism increased the value of the stimulus to the charter in Sharm El-Sheikh to $3,000 and bring down the capacity of flights to 60% only, instead of 70%, to encourage more flights to the city.

The ministry said in a statement that the decision came in response to requests by South Sinai and Sharm El-Sheikh investors to encourage flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.

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Expectations of tourist bookings for winter season declined because of current conditions: Shalaby  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/expectations-tourist-bookings-winter-season-declined-current-conditions-shalaby/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/20/expectations-tourist-bookings-winter-season-declined-current-conditions-shalaby/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:00:06 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631953 A one night stay in a single room ranges between $12 and $18, which is a very low price

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The vice president of the Tourism Investors Association in Marsa Alam Tarek Shalaby did not expect a high rate of bookings for the coming winter season because of the conditions experienced by the Egyptian tourist sector for more than four years. However, there haven’t been any consequences yet for the recent terrorist incident in Hurgada.

During an interview with Daily News Egypt, Shalaby said that the current occupancy ranges between 25% and 30%, all of which are last minute bookings from the Ukrainian, German, and Italian markets.

 

Are there any closed hotels here in the area? 

Of course, there are about 25 hotels that have been closed for some time now. The hotels, which are actually working for more than 40 establishments, are closing some of their hotel rooms, some of them to reduce costs and losses. As for those who can’t reduce losses, closing the hotel was their only solution. However, the advantage of this is that hotels that are available are actually stable and ready to welcome tourists any time.

Experts described the price of accommodation in the region as very low, despite the increased cost of operation. How do you see it?

The one night stay for a person ranges between $12 and $18, which is a very low price and hotel management companies cannot increase prices in light of the drop in demand for holiday destinations in the region.

Recently, there has been an increase in the prices of energy, fuel, salaries, vegetables, and food in general by at least 15-20%.

The hotel management companies are forced to either accept and pay these prices or to close the doors of the hotel, which will result in greater losses.

What are the nationalities of tourists coming to the region currently?

About 60% of them are Ukrainians, which is the largest proportion of tourists. Germans represent 20%, Italians 10%, and the remaining percentage are tourists from other nationalities.

Is there Arab tourism in the region, especially since you have made efforts to attract Arabs to the region during the recent period?

I am sorry to say that these efforts failed, and there is no Arabic tourism to the region. I was hoping to increase the flow of the region not only from Europe, but also from the Arab region, especially as there are new segments of youth in the Gulf countries that are looking for relaxation on beaches.

Why did those attempts fail as mentioned?

There is no real support from the Ministry of Tourism for the region or cooperation between the ministry and the private sector. Unfortunately, we hoped there would be flights between Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Morocco. The obstacles include the price of the trip which could reach $64,000, and some countries have restrictions in granting visas to its citizens coming to Egypt.

Marketing in the world for tourist destinations has become very sophisticated. There are 30,000 Saudi tourists who will be heading to Bosnia this summer.

What about the internal tourism of the region. Has there been any change in this aspect?

This idea has not seen any tangible movement since 2010, and investors in the region have been tired from the need to find a solution. We have been complaining over the high price of airline tickets for Egyptians to spend their holidays in the region.

We asked the Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed to intervene directly to solve this crisis. The increase in the number of Egyptian families during the current summer season means protecting investments of more than EGP 15bn, as well as activating the tourism movement at Marsa Alam airport or hotels.

In light of the high prices of all services, there is no sign of hope for the flow of Egyptians to the region, especially with that tourist facilities are quite far in the south-east of Egypt.

What about investments in the region during the recent period?

There are no recent investments in the region from where investors come in. Many are hoping to repay old loans that they have received from banks.

In order to have new investments in a region there has to be touristic demand, and currently there is no demand in this region. It is not limited to new investments, but extends to the cessation of any new hotel extensions.

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Taba: the abandoned paradise https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/taba-abandoned-paradise/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/taba-abandoned-paradise/#comments Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:30:57 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631255 Taba’s location between the mountains gives it a special charm, says tourist

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Taba is a small, Egyptian border town with mountains encircling its tourist resorts and its coastal strip near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, the northernmost resort of Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera, and Egypt’s busiest border crossing with neighbouring Eilat, Israel, despite it consisting of little more than a bus depot and a luxury hotel (complete with casino). It is a frequent vacation spot for tourists, from Egypt and abroad, especially those from Israel, as a weekend getaway or on their way to other destinations in Egypt.

One of the most beautiful scenery in the region is the Salah Al-Din Citadel, one of the fortified castles in the heart of the Gulf of Aqaba.

“Taba’s atmosphere is perfect, especially in the summer, and we love to come to attend parties and concerts at Taba Heights resorts, especially that the prices of rooms are suitable for spending the week-end,” a Jordanian tourist told Daily News Egypt.

Her husband said that the concerts had a special atmosphere, and that the distance between Jordan and Taba is not great.

A European tourist said, “Taba is one of the best in Egypt to enjoy the sun, sea, and colourful fish close up. Moreover, the mountains shining under the sun, and the sky is clear at night, filled with stars.”

“Its borderline between the mountains gives it a special charm,” said an Egyptian tourist visiting Taba for the first time.

Some events occurred in Egypt after the revolution of 25 January, which affected the tourism sector in Egypt and the occupancy in the whole Sinai region, with occupancy rates sometimes reaching only 25% or less.

This led the management of Taba Heights—a fully self-sufficient resort town—to launch promotional parties to attract tourists, especially Arabs. The company also seeks to attract tourists from European countries through a number of promotional activities, including exhibitions outside Egypt and holding international celebrity concerts.

Taba Heights held a series of trips starting in January to activate tourism, and Taba Heights continues to hold other celebrations to attract tourists to the region, which is suffering from a lack of promotional activities by the concerned state agencies, even though it is one of the best tourist places on the land of Egypt.

Emad El Tarabishy, senior owner representative of Taba Heights Resort, told Daily News Egypt that the occupancy rates during the season of concerts reaches 90% of its open hotels.

He complained from lack of promotion by the Tourism Promotion Authority, which neglects the Taba region in its promotional activities.

He added that Taba Heights is interested in reviving tourism in Sinai—for its unique landscape—and overcoming the low tourist turnout that has recently been witnessed due to the current instability.

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Arab bridge, Sindbad form consortium for working between ports of Aqaba, Taba Heights https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/arab-bridge-sindbad-form-consortium-working-ports-aqaba-taba-heights/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/arab-bridge-sindbad-form-consortium-working-ports-aqaba-taba-heights/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:00:31 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631258 Prices range from $65 to $90, we transport 6,000 passengers per month, says Al-Mubaidain

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According to the director of the Coalition of Maritime Transport Companies, Ahmed Al-Mubaidain, a consortium was formed to operate on the Aqaba-Taba maritime line.

Al-Mubaidain told Daily News Egypt that the consortium consists of two companies: Arab Bridge Maritime and Sindbad Shipping and Transport Company. Both companies work in the maritime transport sector. The contract between them started in April 2017 and will last for five years.

He said that Arab Bridge Maritime is specialised in all types of maritime transport and is owned by three countries (Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq), while Sindbad Shipping and Transport Company is experienced in the field of tourist transport and tourist facilities and all kinds of water sports and domestic and international leisure trips.

In addition to that, he pointed out that the two sides have unified forces to improve the level of service and encourage inter-tourism between the two countries on the Aqaba-Taba line.

The agreement between the two parties will materialise through three modern Australian-made boats and another idle one. The fleet will be enough to transport any number of possible tourists between the two countries, with investments amounting to $14m.

The consortium aims to transport at least 6,000 passengers per month between the two countries by intensifying international marketing campaigns to reach the largest capacity possible to encourage tourism between the two countries, especially in South Sinai’s resorts and the Golden Triangle in Jordan. In addition, the consortium is to support any new market that could open the door for tourism between the two countries.

Al-Mubaidain added that the consortium currently operates only between the two ports in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Aqaba-Royal Yacht Club-Marina Talabih) and Taba Heights Port in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

He pointed out that the tickets and fees are priced in dollars and for all nationalities, noting that the price of the ticket ranges between $65 and $90 depending on the age group. The price includes port charges of the Jordanian and Egyptian sides.

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Taba Heights to open Bay View hotel next month: senior owner representative  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/taba-heights-open-bay-view-hotel-next-month-senior-owner-representative/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/07/13/taba-heights-open-bay-view-hotel-next-month-senior-owner-representative/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:30:27 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=631253 A water park will be installed at Sofitel Hotel at a cost of $145,000 in January, says Eltrabishy

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Senior owner representative of Taba Heights Resort Emad Eltrabishy said that Orascom Hotel Management (OHM), the owner of Taba Heights, invested EGP 12.5bn in the project after flotation.

Eltrabishy said in an interview with Daily News Egypt that Taba Port’s returns reached approximately $1.2m annually with a capacity of one million passengers.

What is the size of investment in Taba Heights resort?

The volume of investments in Taba Heights is estimated at EGP 12.5bn following the decision to liberalise the exchange rate. Investments before the flotation decision reached EGP 2.5bn.

How many of Taba Height’s hotels are operational?

So far, three out of a total of six hotels are operational due to several factors, the most important of which is the decline in tourism.

We seek to open the rest of the closed hotels in the coming period as the Bay View Hotel will be reopened next month with an opening ceremony. The room prices of the new hotel will range between $200 and $300 per night.

The hotel will be reopened partially. 100 rooms out of 394 will be reopened, and the targeted occupation rate is 20%.

Furthermore, E.MAK Swimming Pool Center will install a water park at Sofitel Hotel at a cost of $145,000 in January. We contracted with E.MAK last year to develop this park.

What is the size of accumulated losses?
We have accumulated losses since the 25 January Revolution of about EGP 750m as a result of the decline in tourism.

What are the types of tourists in Taba Heights?

The company is working to develop different categories of hotels to suit all guest segments.

Orascom is seeking to attract a number of guests to compensate for continuing losses. Taba Heights was dependent on British, French, German, Italian, and—to a lesser extent—Russian tourists, who spend large sums of money.

Egyptians are now becoming more present in Taba Height’s resorts, since last January. The price of a room for Egyptians is about EGP 450 per night for the double room.

What is the source of dollar to the resort?

The resort receives dollars through its Taba Heights Marina.

The Marina’s income reaches $1.2m annually, 50% of which goes to the General Authority for Red Sea Ports, the main partner in the port.

Taba Heights and the Red Sea Ports Management Company is a partnership of 51% for the General Authority for Red Sea Ports, and the rest is for Orascom Hotels Management, which has the right of management for 50 years.

The company has improved its legal situation to be on the map of international ports after entering the tourist business activity.

What is the capacity of the Marina?

The marina has a capacity of about one million passengers annually. During the past year, however, it was used by 80,000 passengers and aims to reach 150,000 passengers during the current year.

What is the main reason in the decline of tourism in Taba Heights?

The Taba bus bombing of 2014, which was transporting a number of Korean tourists, was a major reason for the decline in traffic to Taba.

Furthermore, after the bus incident, German company FTI Touristik GmbH advised all German nationals not to visit Taba until July 2015. This contributed to the closure of hotels, which increased the losses of the company in its investment there.

The area of Taba began its slow recovery during the last period as a result of the propaganda, marketing parties, and concerts that Taba Heights initiated during the past period.

What is the size of the budget allocated for these propaganda concerts?

Taba Heights has allocated EGP 20m annually to hold concerts for famous singers of the Arab world, which raised the occupancy of hotels. The minimum occupancy during concerts is 50%, and, sometimes, all rooms are occupied.

What is the size of investments in Club Med Sinai Bay?

Club Med Sinai Bay is one of the resorts of Taba Heights, which is a unique resort situated in a beautifully preserved bay between two mountains. The hotel has the best hotel in the world of the Club Med Group, which has 120 hotels worldwide.

The current investment reached about EGP 2.2bn after the flotation of the Egyptian pound.

Does Taba Heights intend to reopen the Club Med?

There are negotiations with Club Med Group to re-open and operate it. Meanwhile, if negotiations fail, there will be negotiations with other management companies to operate the hotel.

Does the company seek to increase investment in the region?

Taba Heights does not seek to inject new investments in the region during the coming period. However, we are focusing on attracting other tourist nationalities, including Lithuania, and we will receive the first cohort in October.

Does the closure of Taba International Airport affect the tourism movement in the region?

Absolutely, yes. We call EgyptAir to fly at least once a week to Taba Airport, as closing it causes great losses for the region. The company is using Jordanian airports and Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport to transport its tourists to Taba.

Did Taba Heights submit any recommendations to governmental agencies to revive tourism in the area?

We did send recommendations and requests to the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, and the cabinet, including operating the direct road to Taba at full capacity. The Tourism Promotion Authority does not support Taba and does not put it on its tourist map at international exhibitions.

What are the efforts Taba Heights has done to promote tourism in the region?

Our company agreed with the management of King Hussein International Airport in Jordan, the Jordanian Commission, and a number of Jordanian maritime companies to operate joint flights between Aqaba and Taba. The agreement will be made at the tourism exhibition ITB Berlin in November.

The international port will be used in Taba to transport Egyptians to Aqaba to spend their vacation and exchange tourists between the two parties. The agreement includes the arrival of the tourist from any airport in Egypt to Taba to spend their vacation, and then move to the port of Aqaba and get a flight from there to speed up the process of transporting tourists back and forth from Taba and Aqaba.

The company is seeking to use the shipping line between Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh to operate the Taba area during the coming period.

These agreements will pump $3m annually through transferring tourists through the marina.

Moreover, it was agreed with the Jordanian side that Egyptians will pay for the fees of Taba Aqaba trip in the Egyptian pound to preserve the foreign currency within the country.

The company has a housing project. Why did the project stop?

A real estate residential project in Taba has been suspended following the non-acquisition laws in the area, and these units are being used for rent. The units reached 104 and, out of them, only 30 units are rented.

How will the increase in electricity prices affect you resort?

We pay EGP 1.2m monthly before the decision to increase, and we will pay EGP 3m monthly after the increase, which adds pressure on our operations.

How much are the arrears in favour of the electricity company?

The arrears amounted to EGP 14m. The arrears were scheduled for 28 cheques, and we have started paying them.

What is the size of income of the six hotels of Taba Heights?

The income for the six hotels in Taba Heights is EGP 50m annually, while employees’ salaries are EGP 54m.

The resort was charging the value-added tax (VAT) as a result of the tourism companies’ refusal to pay tourists.

What is the size of the company’s land bank in Taba?

The company owns 2.2 million square meters inside Taba, which is still unexploited out of 4.6 million square meters.

The company implemented more than the periods set by the Tourism Development Authority for the implementation of projects, which made the company does not think at the moment to increase its investments.

According to the competition in prices in tourist areas in Egypt, how do you see this issue?

The concerned agencies have to set a minimum price for hotel rooms in South Sinai to stop the burning of prices (to have justice competition). The camps inside South Sinai sell at prices more than many hotels located in South Sinai.

excerpts

The company is seeking to use the shipping line between Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh to operate the Taba area during the coming period

The Tourism Promotion Authority does not support Taba and does not put it on its tourist map at international exhibitions

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