Tourism – Daily News Egypt https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:55:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada to witness RevPAR growth of 39% & 29%, respectively in 2019: Colliers https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/19/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-to-witness-revpar-growth-of-39-29-respectively-in-2019-colliers/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 23:00:07 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705353 Cairo, Alexandria to achieve occupancy rates of 79%, 84%, respectively in 2019

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Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurgahda, and Alexandria are to witness a growth of 11%, 39%, 29%, and 27%, respectively year-over-year (y-o-y) in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR), Colliers International said in its latest MENA Hotels Forecast report in July 2019.

It also forecasted that the four cities will achieve occupancy rates of 79%, 64%, 69%, and 84%, respectively in 2019.

Colliers stated that the Egyptian market continues to experience strong growth in performance levels.

In the first six months of 2019, the aforementioned Egyptian markets saw an average RevPAR growth of 25% compared to the same period last year, it added.

The Colliers attributed this growth to lifting the travel ban from export markets, which led to an increase in demand levels.

“The outlook for Egyptian markets remains strong. The main Egyptian markets are expected to see a 27% increase in RevPAR compared to last year,” Colliers expects.

Concerning Lebanon, Colliers unveiled that Beirut is expected to witness a growth of 16% in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019, with occupancy rate of 63%.

For the UAE, Colliers expected Abu Dhabi city to witness a slight RevPAR increase of 2% y-o-y in 2019, with occupancy rate of 72%.

“Abu Dhabi Beach is expected to witness a slight RevPAR growth of 2% y-o-y in 2019, with occupancy rates of 66%,” Colliers forecasts.

In terms of Saudi Arabia, Colliers revealed that Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Al Khobar are expected to witness RevPAR decreases of 5%, 7%, 2%, 4%, and 8%, respectively y-o-y in 2019.

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Egypt releases new promo video showcasing ‘hidden gems’ in new tourism drive https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/13/egypt-releases-new-promo-video-showcasing-hidden-gems-in-new-tourism-drive/ Tue, 13 Aug 2019 19:43:39 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705025 The campaign video highlights different experiences that Egypt has to offer in gastronomy, culture, and various activities through its people.

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Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism on Monday released of an international promotional campaign video showcasing Egyptians as “hidden gems” in new tourism drive by the ministry.

Minister of Tourism Rania Al Mashat unveiled the new “People To People” campaign video curated by Beautiful Destinations, the social media travel hub with more than 20 million followers; with the video published across all Beautiful Destinations channels on 12 August.

The “People To People” campaign is one of the phases of “Promotion and Marketing”, the third part of the Egypt – Tourism Reform Programme (E-TRP) launched in November 2018. It aims at portraying Egypt not only as a contemporary and prime touristic destination but also sheds light on the diversity of the Egyptian people.

“People To People” uses modern content ideologies and digital tools to shift tourists’ perception on one hand and encourage community engagement, on the other hand.

The campaign video highlights different experiences that Egypt has to offer in gastronomy, culture, and various activities through its people.

“It is a campaign that reawakens the power of human-to-human connection. The campaign video highlights the fact that beyond our known destinations, landmarks, and year-round sunshine, Egypt moves, astonishes and awakens the senses of visitors, not only through its places but through its people as well, inviting the world`s people to connect with us and experience Egypt’s dynamic and vibrant culture,” Al-Mashat said.

She ensured that the Egyptian people are people of pride, passion, peace, progress, and productivity.

“I believe genuinely that the Egyptian people themselves can and will make an enormous contribution to the future success of the tourism sector,” she added.

The minister further added that at a time when the rhetoric of global policy is overshadowed by protectionism and trade barriers, tourism acts as a sector that promotes understanding between people as well as peace, connectivity, and familiarity between nations.

She mentioned that this campaign is not only aimed for global travellers but also to create a local moral boost.

She further stated that the Ministry of Tourism’s overarching objective is to have at least one individual from each Egyptian household working directly or indirectly in the tourism sector.

“In order to achieve the aforementioned objective, we are changing the narrative of Egypt to include immersive experiences, highlight the stories of its people and give travellers a journey of discovery,” she highlighted.

Jeremy Jauncey, founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations, said travellers today seek content that inspires them in curating their itineraries through a new wave of storytelling; the people of Egypt are amazing- welcoming, proud, and eager to show their country.

“Working with Al Mashat to bring the E-TRP to life has been a huge honour and we are extremely proud to have created the new brand for Egypt tourism,” he added.

He assured that the launch of the “People To People” campaign is just the start of Beautiful Destinations commitment to Egypt, mentioning that he cannot wait to inspire the world to come and visit.

Remi Carlioz, Chief Creative Officer at Beautiful Destinations, said, “This is really a passion project for us. Obviously Egypt has the most amazing natural and historical wonders but what will really make you come to Egypt, and come again, is its people, their warmth, diversity, modernity, joy, and creativity. From Cairo to Alexandria, from Aswan to Siwa, from the Red Sea to Luxor, the people of Egypt will never cease to amaze you.”

Notably, the partnership of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism with Beautiful Destinations was announced at ITB Berlin on 7 March, and the teaser campaign was launched in May. Earlier on 14 July, a meeting took place in Washington DC with the Beautiful Destinations team to finalise the content.

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Visiting Egypt as a tourist in 2019 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/07/visiting-egypt-as-a-tourist-in-2019/ Wed, 07 Aug 2019 10:48:49 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=704705 After an eight-year slump for tourism in Egypt largely due to safety concerns in recent times. Tourism, one of the most popular and profitable industries in the country is finally starting to pick up again.

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After an eight-year slump for tourism in Egypt largely due to safety concerns in recent times. Tourism, one of the most popular and profitable industries in the country is finally starting to pick up again. As the political situation improved, and violent threats are few and far between, a drastic hike in the tourists’ interest in the country took place.

 What you can do in Egypt in 2019

Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and most historic pieces of land in, leaving behind a rich heritage of cultural treasures. However, it is also now a modern country that can offer a lot more than just sightseeing.

One of the things you can do as a foreigner is gambling. If you are craving to play online slots on your trip to Egypt, don’t worry, as there are plenty of physical and online casinos you can play on. Despite all types of gambling being illegal for Egyptian nationals, it is perfectly normal and common for foreigners.

Another thing that Egypt is certainly not known for but has been improving recently is the nightlife. Although it is still far behind most of the Western countries, Egypt has one of the best night lives in the Middle East and you can enjoy a great night out at a club or a bar, no matter what your taste in music is. Beware, though, as it can be quite pricey.

Best tourist attractions

Egypt is home to some of the most important cultural treasures that the ancient civilizations have to offer. Perhaps the most popular of which, are the Pyramids of Giza, the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This ancient pyramid complex has baffled historians and travellers for centuries, and it still offers one of the best sights in the world, a true world wonder.

Unlike most other top destinations in Egypt, the small town of Aswan, situated upon the winding curves of the Nile, is one of the most tranquil places you will find, offering a completely new and different experience. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind or take a camel to the desert monastery.

Our next location is Siwa Oasis. It is located way out west, and much like Aswan, it offers a tranquil experience compared to other large cities. Centred around an ancient town, this place is perfect to unwind and plan your next adventures into the surrounding desert.

 Is it safe?

The short answer is yes. Even though there are one can argue that there are still some terrorist attacks happening every year, targeting both tourists and locals, these attacks also happen all over the world, including Paris, London, Berlin and throughout the West.

For example, as of today, the USA has had over 250 mass shootings in 2019, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands. But is the USA considered safe? Of course, it is. And so should Egypt.

The government is also making sure that strong safety standards are maintained throughout the main tourist attractions, including police escorts to the various sites.

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Marina, Ministry of Youth to sign water sports cooperation protocol https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/05/marina-ministry-of-youth-to-sign-water-sports-cooperation-protocol/ Mon, 05 Aug 2019 06:00:01 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704448 The protocol also aims to provide the required development and hold competitions for residences of Marina community.

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Taamir company for Development and Tourism Management held a meeting on Sunday, with the Ministry of Youth to prepare for signing a water sports cooperation protocol.

The protocol also aims to provide the required development and hold competitions for residences of Marina community.

Furthermore, the two parties have agreed to hold several events including a marathon that will be held annually and a series of competitions under the title “The strongest man in Marina”, which will include various athletic competitions.

To do so, the two sides will develop various spaces and stadiums which already exist, to get them ready for hosting such tournaments.

Company’s Chairperson and Former Tourism Minister, Hisham Zaazou, said that Taamir’s administration vision includes developing Marina’s infrastructure in cooperation with the state, to boost it’s sport and tourism status.

Zaazou noted that the organisation of international competitions for yachts and marine sports would be under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and in collaboration with sports federations, unions and companies specialized in these areas.

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Tourism investors owe $180m to government https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/08/04/tourism-investors-owe-180m-to-government/ Sun, 04 Aug 2019 20:08:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704426 600 investors obtained lands from Tourism Ministry, failed to pay lands’ instalments

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The Ministry of Tourism’s dues for lands allocated to hotel and resort projects amounted to $180m until the end of last year.

A senior government official told Daily News Egypt that 600 investors have obtained land plots from the Ministry of Tourism over the past years and failed to pay the lands’ instalments due to low tourist arrivals in Egypt during the period 2011-2018.

According to the official, this year will see the settlement of these dues as the indicators of tourism improve, both in tourist arrivals and revenues.

Daily News Egypt was informed that the revenues of the tourism sector grew to $11.6bn, a growth of 49.5% over the previous year, driven by an increase in tourist arrivals, amounting to 11.3 million tourists, compared to 8.3 million in 2017.

The inbound tourism to Egypt declined sharply during the period 2011-2018 due to political unrest, suspension of Russian and British flights to some Egyptian airports in 2015.

“We are seeing a great recovery in tourism this year, and this is reflected positively on tourism investments and the development of existing hotels through the completion of replacement and renovation operations,” the official said. “We have 48,000 new under construction rooms expected to enter service in 2022,” he added.

The official predicted that occupancy rates in hotels and resorts of the Red Sea region will exceed 85% as tourist arrivals from European countries, especially from Germany, Ukraine, and Poland, are higher than last year.

He added that the Ministry of Tourism is intensifying tourism promotion in Eastern Europe, Germany, and new markets in Central and South Asia, which will continue to drive the growth of tourism movement during the current year.

“If Russia lifted its ban on flight to Egypt, the situation will change completely, as Russia is the biggest market for Egyptian tourism. Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada are very popular among the Russians,” he added.

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New passenger terminal opens at Hurghada Airport https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/31/new-passenger-terminal-opens-at-hurghada-airport/ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 07:40:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=704056 New terminal’s capacity reaches 7.5 million passengers annually

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Ministers of Civil Aviation and Tourism inaugurated on Tuesday passenger terminal 2 at Hurghada International Airport after increasing its capacity to 7.5 million passengers annually which comes in line with the growing number of tourist arrivals to Hurghada.

The new terminal comes also in line with the strategy set by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to develop Egyptian airports to cope with the rapid growth in the air transport industry and the continuous increase in air traffic to and from Egypt.

Minister of Civil Aviation, Younis El Masry, said the opening of the terminal comes after conducting several test operations, mentioning that modern security devices have been installed in the terminal.

El Masry added that the new terminal has 11 departure gates connected to aircrafts by direct bridges along with nine exit gates for remote aircrafts by buses.

“The new building has 72 counters for booking departures and receiving bags, in addition to two counters for large luggage service,” the minister added.

“The baggage handling area has also been developed for departing passengers and it adopted an

automatic transmission system with six conveyor belts to carry passenger bags, in addition to nine electric conveyors to pick up passengers’ luggage,” he added.

He concluded that the airport provides regular services to Cairo, offers direct flights to many European destinations, and tends to more than 40 different airlines.

Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat expressed her appreciation for the great efforts by the ministry of civil aviation in developing Egyptian airports, pointing out its importance in upgrading the level of service provided to passengers and increasing the competitiveness of Egyptian airports globally.

The minister stressed the importance of the city of Hurghada, as it is one of the most attractive Egyptian tourist cities, noting that there are many trips that go directly to Hurghada city, especially since Hurghada airport serves many other cities including El Gouna, Sahl Hasheesh, Safaga, and El Qusayr.

She assured that the development of this building will contribute to increase the capacity of the airport to receive more tourists and travellers.

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Hilton’s global net income reaches $769m in 2018 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/27/hiltons-global-net-income-reaches-769m-in-2018/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 09:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=703620 Group to increase its capacity in Egypt by adding 1,683 rooms by 2025

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The global net income of the American multinational hospitality company Hilton reached $225m during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, while the full year’s net income recorded $769m, according to Hilton’s Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results. This is setting Hilton’s 2019 off to its most dynamic year, while celebrating 100 years pioneering the hospitality industry.

Amir Lababedi, the managing director for development in the MENA region at Hilton, told Daily News Egypt in an interview that Hilton aims to expand its capacity in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, explaining that Hilton plans to add 1,683 new rooms by 2025 in Egypt.

“Hilton group is made up of 17 brands, including Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Canopy, Hilton, Curio, DoubleTree, Tapestry Collection, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites, and Hilton Grand Vacations, in addition to new brands, called Signia and Motto,” said Lababedi.

DNE spoke with Lababedi about Hilton’s expansion plans in Egypt and the Middle East, in addition to his evaluation of the Egyptian tourism sector’s performance and challenges. The interview’s transcript is below, lightly edited for clarity:

Does the group have expansion plans in Egypt? And what is your five-year strategy?

We have been working in Egypt for 60 years. We already have 16 hotels which are currently operating and eight others that are in the pipeline with more than 1,600 rooms to open during the upcoming five years. We are always on the lookout for more hotels and more deals to sign, so these numbers are expected to increase.

Those 16 hotels are divided into 15 Hilton hotels and a Conrad hotel.

Besides, we are expanding into new geographical territories in and close to Cairo, such as the New Administrative Capital (NAC), New Cairo, the 5th Settlement, Sheikh Zayed, and Sixth October City. We are also looking forward to increase our presence in secondary markets and national projects, such as the Suez Canal Area Development Project, Port Said, Damietta, Mansoura, Tanta, Assiut, and leisure destinations, including El Gouna, Al Alamein, and Ain Sokhna, all of which are set to expand our brand presence in the country.

Our priority in the coming years is to both expand into new geographical territories and introduce more of Hilton’s 17 brands into the country. Within these projects and locations, we firmly believe there is a need and great potential for new mid-scale and focused services brands, such as Hilton Garden Inn, and for our softer brands, such as DoubleTree by Hilton and Curio Collection by Hilton, which lend themselves well to both new build and conversion or adaptive re-use projects. All of these brands are being very well received by the hotel investment and development community, and we have many ongoing discussions to introduce all of these brands.

Currently, we already have two DoubleTree hotels under construction, one is located in El Gouna and the other is in Ain Al Sokhna. We also have two Hilton Garden Inn hotels which are also in the construction phase, one in Cairo Business Park close to the NAC and the other in Damietta which is a very important secondary city in Egypt.

Lastly, we are very much looking forward to introducing the first Waldorf Astoria into Africa in Cairo’s Heliopolis area. This project is currently undergoing rebranding activities.

While resorts do remain part of our strategy here and always will do, we need to ensure the quality of the product represents the brand. Therefore, we now have a number of hotels located in both our resorts and city locations that are undergoing renovations, such as Ramses Hilton, Hilton Pyramids Golf, Hilton Hurghada Plaza, Hilton Hurghada Resort, Hilton Alex Green Plaza, and Conrad Cairo. For those hotels that do not meet the criteria, we need to take the decision as to whether those brands will remain in the portfolio.

Tell us more details on the 1,683 new rooms to be inaugurated in Egypt?

The 1,683 rooms are divided into 257 rooms that are going to be opened in Hilton Cairo in Maadi by 2020, in addition to 179 rooms in DoubleTree by Hilton El Gouna Mangroovy Resort that are going to be opened by 2020, as well as 180 new rooms in Hilton Ain Al Sokhna which will be inaugurated by 2021.

Moreover, there are 130 new rooms to be introduced at Hilton Garden Inn Cairo Business Park by 2021, in addition to 120 rooms in Hilton Garden Inn Damietta Beach by 2021.

Also, there are 420, 200, and 197 rooms to enter operation respectively at Hilton Giza Pyramids by 2023, Hilton Port Said by 2023, and DoubleTree by Hilton Ain Al Sokhna in 2025.

What about Hilton’s expansion plans in the Middle East?

We plan to expand our capacity in North Africa in different brands, including Hilton Tangier Al Houara Resort & Spa by adding 297 rooms by the end of 2019 and Hilton Taghazout Bay Beach Resort & Spa by adding 170 new rooms by 2020.

Furthermore, 155 new rooms are to be opened in Hilton Garden Inn Casablanca Sidi Maarouf by 2021, and 150 rooms in Hilton Rabat will be inaugurated by 2022.

We have a dedicated development presence based out of Casablanca, Morocco as an illustration of our commitment to grow in this region.

What are the most common nationalities that visit Hilton’s hotels in Egypt?

Our top three markets are the Arab Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the local market. We also started to see some Asian visitors.

How did Hilton deal with Egypt’s tourism crisis in the past eight years? And what were the occupancy rates of your chain during this period?

There has been a country-wide decline in occupancy rates due to the challenges that the local market was facing. Yet, we made sure during that time not to lay off any of our existing team members or shut down the doors of any of our hotels. Of late, the region has witnessed some of the strongest growth rates in the world.

What is the size of Hilton’s staff in Egypt?

Currently, there are 6,516 employees in our hotels in Egypt. We also have a dedicated corporate office based out of Cairo which supports those hotels.

Do you think Egypt’s tourism crisis is over? And how do you see the country’s tourism growth now?

We are observing a strong recovery in the market, and it is good to see that the crisis seems to be resolving and we are in a much stronger position now as a sector and as a hotel company in Egypt. Moreover, we are looking forward to adding more growth and further strengthening our footprint with more hotels and exploring new opportunities.

Finally, I also think that Egypt is one of the most important growing markets today and is one of our key growth markets for the region.

In your opinion, how has the floatation affected tourism in Egypt?

I think it has had a positive effect on the tourism industry in Egypt, as it became more affordable. I also think it can support domestic tourism.

What should Egypt do to attract more tourists?

I think it is important to ensure the diversity of the incoming tourists. It is also important to have the right products in the right location in order to attract different segments at different price points.

It is also essential to have strong brands in order to give the international tourism market the comfort and the quality, in terms of services and operations.

Egypt also needs to ensure the efficiency of the transport infrastructure that connects the airports to the new touristic destinations in Egypt.

Moreover, we need to ensure that the employees in the hotels understand and can deliver international- standard services. What is even more important that touristic agencies or hotels owners should guarantee a good culture and understanding of the tourism sector within their companies.

I need to highlight in this context that Hilton was recognised as number one work place by Fortune Magazine.

Over and above, we believe if employees are happy, then this happiness will be reflected on the guests, which will subsequently lead to their differentiation in the competition, and to strong performance in revenues, which will lead to a strong investment environment.

On another matter, I need to mention that what Egypt is doing now in terms of the e-visa is good, as it will make access to Egypt both cheaper and easier.

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Mariout Hills to establish 1st sustainable hotel in North Coast https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/15/mariout-hills-to-establish-1st-sustainable-hotel-in-north-coast/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 07:20:29 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702707 Hotel’s first phase costs EGP 300m, expected to be completed in July 2020, says Mariout Hills chairperson

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Mariout Hills Group announced on Sunday that the ministries of tourism and environment have granted the company a license to establish and operate the first sustainable hotel in the North Coast.

This will be the first hotel of its kind in Egypt as part of the state plan to support sustainable development projects.

Commenting on this, Ahmed Hassan, chairperson of Mariout Hills Developments and a specialist in sustainable cities, said that the hotel represents a qualitative leap for the North Coast.

He mentioned that it would be the first investment project in the field of sustainable development that will be open throughout the year, pointing out that all the infrastructure work of the hotel is environment-friendly from construction to services.

Hassan explained that the hotel is divided into 200 hotel houses designed to attract European tourists by 70% and Egyptians by 30%, he noted that the hotel is located in the kilo of 83 in the North Coast.

Concerning the project’s cost, Hassan noted that the first phase will cost about EGP 300m, while the second phase costs about EGP 1bn.

He mentioned that the first phase is expected to be completed by July 2020 and the whole project by 2023.

The chairperson confirmed that the hotel is supported by a modern and advanced farm for the production of organic food to reduce pollution, and includes new services in Egypt and North Africa.

Notably, Mariout Hills started implementing the first phase of the first sustainable “eco-city” in Egypt. That will include the hotel with all its services including the health and wellness area for the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients, as well as the area of children’s camps, recreational forests, and educational workshops. There will also be a racing track for electric cars, commercial centres, and an organic farm.

Moreover, Hassan announced that Mariout Hills has recently contracted long term contracts with

several European tour operators to organise European tourists’ trips to the city throughout the year.

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Tourism sector accounts for 20% of Egypt’s GDP: Al-Mashat https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/13/tourism-sector-accounts-for-20-of-egypts-gdp-al-mashat/ Sat, 13 Jul 2019 20:06:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702594 Al-Mashat explained that Egypt has 3 million people working in the tourism sector

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Minister of Tourism says 3 million work in tourism sector the tourism sector is considered a key component for growth and employment in the country, as it accounts for 20% of Egypt’s GDP, according to Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat.

Al-Mashat explained that Egypt has 3 million people working in the tourism sector. She pointed out that the goal of the tourism structural reform programme in Egypt is to eventually have at least one individual from each Egyptian household working, either directly or indirectly, in the tourism sector.

Her remarks came on Saturday during a discussion session with the Practice Manager-Markets and Technology at World Bank Group, Martha Martinez Licetti, Senior Director of Manufacturing, Agri & Services at International Finance Corporation (IFC) Tomasz Telma, and IFC’s Vice President Of Economics And Private Sector Development, Hans Peter Lankes.

The minister stressed the importance of the tourism industry in the growth of the countries’ economies, highlighting that the world tourism movement increased by 6% in 2018, contributing $8.8tn, accounting for 10% of the world economy, and 30% of the world services exports. This is in addition to providing 319 million jobs, equivalent to 1/10 of the world’s total employment.

Al-Mashat expressed the ministry’s keenness to cooperate with international economic and financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

However, Al-Mashat stated that funding the sector from international financial institutions is still very weak, and called for increased financing from international financial institutions.

For her part, Licetti praised the practical and serious steps being taken by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism to promote this sector and create sustainable tourism in the medium term.

Moreover, she asserted the importance of the role of international institutions in supporting the tourism sector, pointing out that the various aspects of cooperation between these institutions and the ministry of tourism will contribute toward supporting and developing the tourism sector in Egypt.

Noteworthy, Egypt has adopted a tourism structural reform programme last November for the first time. Aiming to develop the tourism sector, the structural reform programme includes different pillars, such as institutional reforms, legislative reforms, promotion and marketing activities, infrastructural and tourism development, and the global trends programme.

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Steigenberger to open 2 new hotels in Taba, Luxor by year-end https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/steigenberger-to-open-new-hotels-in-taba-luxor-by-year-end/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702525 Hotel optimistic about tourism growth in Egypt this year

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Deutsche Hospitality, represented in Egypt by the Steigenberger brand, is to open two new hotels; one in Taba in South Sinai and the other in Luxor, by the end of the year, according to Thomas Willms, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality.

The planned Taba hotel to include 398 rooms, while there will be 281 rooms in the Luxor hotel, Willms told Daily News Egypt in an interview.

He tackled tourism in Egypt and the expansion plans of Deutsche Hospitality in the Middle East.

The interview also touched on the procedures that the government has to take in order to develop the tourism sector and the evaluation of Egypt’s tourism nowadays, disclosing the top nationalities that visit Egypt currently, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

Let’s introduce Deutsche Hospitality to the readers: how many brands does the company own?

Our hotel portfolio encompasses 150 hotels in 11 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Deutsche Hospitality brings together five separate hotel brands under a single umbrella. Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts has nearly 60 hotels housed in historic traditional buildings and lively city residences as well as health and beauty oases set at the very heart of nature. MAXX by Steigenberger is a new and charismatic concept, which places the focus on the essential under the motto “Maximize your stay”.  Jaz in the City reflect a metropolitan lifestyle and draw upon the local music and cultural scene. IntercityHotel brand offers more than 40 upper mid-range urban hotels, all of which are located within easy walking distance of railway stations or airports. Zleep Hotels is a well-known and successful hotel brand in Scandinavia which offers service and design at a great rate for many. In Egypt, we have Steigenberger with 12 hotels and six Nile cruisers.

Thomas Willms, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality

What about Deutsche Hospitality’s expansion plan in the Middle East?

 Deutsche Hospitality runs hotels in Tunisia, Dubai, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. We are looking forward to expand in other Middle Eastern countries.

 

Will you introduce any new brand of Deutsche Hospitality in Egypt?

We would love to introduce all brands in Egypt. We already have a strategy to have all brands in Egypt, and ee will announce the new developments as soon as possible.

 

What about Deutsche Hospitality’s global earning for 2018? (annual report)

As a private company, we enjoy the luxury to build our future development on a sustainable strategy, which includes middle- and long-term growth. Our aim is to double the number of hotels within the next five years, so that we can run 250 in the year 2024. The year 2018 was the most successful in our 90-year-long history. This is more than a solid basis for international growth.

 

How do you see the floatation’s effect on the tourism sector in Egypt?

 

Surely, it had a positive effect on the Egyptian tourism sector. However, I think what the Egyptian authorities really understood during the last years is that when it comes to rates, it is essential to ensure a minimum standard. This is the only way to constantly push quality to the next level. On the long run, the most valuable tourism for every country is focused on quality and sustainability more than on cheap trips.

 

How did Steigenberger deal with Egypt’s tourism crisis in past eight years? Was any of the workers laid off during that period?

Prioritising and investing at staff training and development is basic to ensure reaching world class standards of service. Therefore, we also try to be hosts for our guests as well as for our employees. If one hotel currently doesn’t need the power of all employees, we transfer them to another hotel – as a task force. We take care of our employees.

 

How many employees are there in Deutsche Hospitality in Egypt and in total?

 

We have 10,500 employees in total, while in Egypt there are more than 3,000 employees.

 

Do you think the tourism crisis is still ongoing? And what are your expectations for this year?

We see the positive efforts the government is undertaking to foster economy, especially the tourism sector. The government did some great efforts in the private sector; they improved transparency and strengthened social solidarity pensions. They did a lot to bring Egypt back on the right track by promoting Egypt’s tourism all over the world.

We are proud to run 12 hotels and six Nile ships in this beautiful country. We have five new hotels in the pipeline which we are looking forward to running. So, our decision is clear enough: We believe in the ongoing growth of the Egyptian economy. In facts and figures, the year 2018 witnessed outstanding performance and all the hotels had exceeded the financial budget with healthy ratio. We maintained our leading position when it comes to RevPAR.

 

What about your hotels’ average occupancy rates in Egypt this year?

Our hotels in Egypt recorded their highest occupancy since 2012. Egypt’s hotel occupancy rate reached record levels in the beginning of 2019, reaching its highest level since 2012, according to the STR report. The STR stated that occupancy grew from 21.2% to 60.1% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019.

 

What about the top nationalities that visited Egypt this year according to destination?

 

The Red Sea: German, Polish, and British nationalities

Sharm El-Sheikh: Ukrainian, Italian, and Saudi nationalities

Cairo: American, GCC, and Indian nationalities

Alexandria: American, and Australian nationalities

Luxor and Aswan: German, British, American, Australian, and French nationalities.

In your opinion, what needs to be developed in Egypt to attract more tourists?

The most important issues that Egypt faces as well as other tourist destinations all over the world within the next years concern for quality, safety, human resources, and sustainability.

Speaking about source markets, especially Egypt, it is deeply connected with the European market. In our hotels in Europe, we experience since some years an increasing number of Chinese and Indian tourists. We see this trend also for Egypt within the next years. Especially as China is a big market of 1.3 billion people in the country, 100 million travelling at the moment. Chinese guests prefer more cultural tourism than the tourism, which is very interesting to Egypt.

 

What about the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Egypt?

 

We strongly believe in our CSR – not only as part time projects, more as a part of our philosophy. As part of our global CSR strategy, we are proud of our Egyptian hotels which really foster for our CSR team for going the extra mile: they are so engaged! All our hotels in Egypt are currently implementing an environmental management system that is based mainly on the “Green Star Hotel” (GSH) demands and criteria. Beneath that we have massive improvements using motion sensors, power saving cards, time switches and many things more CSR is about looking at every part of the value chain to gain the maximum improvement.

Steigenberger hotels are also the main sponsor for the UN programme of protecting migrating soaring birds through Egypt. We are members in the HEPCA organisation, a local organisation that is involved with environment preservation in the Red Sea, the hotels contribute to the support of the protection and conservation of the coral reefs including supporting natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value. Most hotels organise and participate annually in local environmental campaigns and actively at the local community.

 

What about your CSR plans in Egypt in 2019?

 

Four hotels will start to partially produce energy from solar energy. Eight other hotels are planning to be GSH certified. And we have a lot more to offer, including a pilot project in Makadi to produce our own drinking water to reduce plastic bottle waste.

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Egyptian tourists’ numbers to Georgia increase by 12.1% in H1 of 2019 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/11/egyptian-tourists-numbers-to-georgia-increase-by-12-1-in-h1-of-2019/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 06:40:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702454 Number of visitors from Egypt still needs to increase, says Georgian ambassador

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Egyptian tourist numbers to Georgia increased during the first half (H1) of 2019 by 12.1% to reach 3,734 tourists, ambassador of Georgia to Egypt, Alexander Nalbandov, said during his regular press conference for the Egyptian media, on Wednesday.

However, he added that the, “number of visitors from Egypt still needs to increase.”

Georgia and Egypt are discussing operating direct flights between Cairo-Tbilisi, which would be a new travel opportunity. This is in addition to direct flights already operating between the Georgian capital, on one hand, and Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, on the other, the ambassador noted.

The growing number of visitors from the Middle East region to Georgia is noticeable from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, the ambassador added.

Domestic and international tourism is one of the main industries of Georgia and an important factor of its economy, the ambassador noted, adding that about 71.8% of Georgia’s service export revenue comes from tourism.

“Revenues from international tourism displayed an increasing trend and reached $3.2bn in 2018, which is 19.1% higher than in 2017. Tourism made up 7.6% of the total GDP,” the ambassador highlighted.

Georgia witnessed a record-breaking number of 8.679544 million for international travellers visiting the country in 2018, representing an annual growth rate of 9.8% compared to 2017, the ambassador asserted. He noted that about 77.3% of the trips conducted by international visitors were from neighbouring countries, the ambassador said.

“Currently, we have to revise our tourism 2019 growth projection and take into account temporary travel restrictions on flights from Russia to Georgia starting on July 8, 2019. We expect tourism revenues to decrease in 2019,” said the ambassador.

Meanwhile, the ambassador stressed that, despite obstacles, the Georgian tourism sector continues to grow, adding that the outlook for the sector remains highly optimistic. Following this path, more jobs will be created, more income will be generated in the years to come, and the number of international visits to Georgia is expected to substantially increase.

The United States Department of State included Georgia among the safest countries to travel to, and this is an absolutely correct evaluation, the ambassador stressed.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada to witness growth of 39%, 29% respectively in RevPAR in 2019: Colliers https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/09/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-to-witness-growth-of-39-29-respectively-in-revpar-in-2019-colliers/ Tue, 09 Jul 2019 06:40:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702187 It also forecasted that Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Alexandria will achieve occupancy rates of 79%, 64%,69%, and 84% respectively in 2019.

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Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Alexandria are to witness a growth of 11%, 39%, 29%, and 27% respectively year-over-year (y-o-y) in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR), Colliers International said in its latest MENA Hotels Forecast report in June 2019.

It also forecasted that Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Alexandria will achieve occupancy rates of 79%, 64%,69%, and 84% respectively in 2019.

“Following the positive trend from 2018, the Egyptian markets continue to experience strong growth in performance levels. In the first five months of 2019, the Egyptian markets saw an average RevPAR growth of 24% compared to the same period last year,” colliers explained.

Concerning Lebanon, Colliers revealed that Beirut is expected to witness a growth of 14% in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019, with occupancy rate of 63%.

“Beirut hotel market has seen strong growth in performance with double digit growth in RevPAR within the first five months of 2019,” according to Colliers.

Furthermore, it added that the increase in performance levels in Beirut can be attributed to the growing number of European tourists. Of which, French tourists top the list followed by Germans and British.

The report indicates that lifting of travel warning from Saudi Arabia is also expected to have a positive impact.

In regards to Dubai, Colliers expected the Dubai Festival City to witness a decrease of 7% in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019.

Meanwhile, it forecasted Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Marina to witness a decrease of 9% in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019.

Meanwhile, it forecasted that Palm Jumeirah is to witness a slight decrease of 6% in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019.

In terms of Saudi Arabia, Colliers revealed that Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Al Khobar are expected to witness a decrease of 5%, 5%,,2%,4%, and 8% respectively in y-o-y RevPAR in 2019.

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Tourism sector will not be affected by latest fuel price hike: Former TPA president https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/07/tourism-sector-will-not-be-affected-by-latest-fuel-price-hike-former-tpa-president/ Sun, 07 Jul 2019 19:27:21 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702008 Average spending of tourists may increase, supported by increase in fuel, diesel prices, says El Damery

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The tourism sector will not be affected by the last increase in fuel and diesel prices, according to Hesham El Damery, the retiring president of the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA).

Notably, the Egyptian government slashed fuel subsidies on Friday, lifting petrol and diesel prices by about 25%. The price of a litre of octane 92 petrol increased to EGP 8, up from EGP 6.75. The price of octane 80 petrol and diesel fuel both increased from EGP 5.50 to EGP 6.75.

Moreover, the price of octane 95 petrol increased from EGP 7.75 to EGP 9 marking a 17% increase, while liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders increased by 30% to reach EGP 65, up from EGP 50 for household usage, while commercial LPG reached EGP 130.

El Damery told Daily News Egypt that this step is a corrective one as the tourism sector should not be subjected to subsidies from the government as it is a commercial sector.

By asking El Damery what some experts previously stated that Egypt is selling tourism at very low prices that do not cope with international prices, he stated that the increase in the fuel prices, will subsequently increase prices, which may increase the average spending of tourists in Egypt in a corrective manner.

The government’s decision comes in line with promises to reduce fuel subsidies according to the reform plan that was agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to secure a $12bn loan.

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Egypt’s tourism growth is the fastest in North Africa by 16.5%: Al-Mashat https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/07/egypts-tourism-growth-is-the-fastest-in-north-africa-by-16-5-al-mashat/ Sun, 07 Jul 2019 07:30:56 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701941 Tourism financing from global institutions still very weak, says minister

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Tourism in Egypt witnessed a boom in 2018 becoming the fastest growing in North Africa with a growth rate of 16.5%, well above the global average growth of only 3.9%, the Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat stated.

The minister’s remarks came during her visit to Switzerland to participate in a roundtable named “Financing the tourism industry from international institutions, to achieve 2030 agenda goals,” as part of the activities held for the World Trade Organization (WTO) initiative named “Aid for trade,” during the period from 3 to 5 July in Geneva, Switzerland.

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of modernising the tourism legislation regulating the work of the tourism sector in order to cope with the changes in the tourism industry worldwide, such as digital transformation, electronic booking, etc.

She highlighted that the legislative reform axis is one of the five main axes of the structural reform programme to develop the tourism sector, which was adopted by the ministry of tourism since last November.

During her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of increasing the funding and support of international tourism institutions in the 2030 agenda due to the importance of the tourism sector in countries’ economies.

She shared that growth in the tourism sector is surpassing the growth rates of the world economy, explaining that the growth in tourism globally reached 3.9%, while the global GDP growth is only 3.2%.

“However, sector financing from global funding institutions is still very weak, the value of targeted flows to support the tourism sector amounted to only 0.4% of the total value of aid flows for trade during 2017,” Al-Mashat continued.

Furthermore, the minister explained why she called for increasing the funding and support for tourism in the 2030 agenda, stating that the industry is important in the economies of countries and contributes to the achievement of the United Nations goals of sustainable development–which aim to improve societies and achieve a better life for countries worldwide.

She added that as global discourse is now moving toward protective measures and trade policies, the tourism sector is a way to overcome these policies, as travel and the movement of individuals between countries contributes to the exchange of cultures and the spread of peace and understanding among peoples.

In addition, the minister also presented the latest developments on the world tourism movement in 2018, which contributed $8.8tn, equivalent to 10% of the world economy, representing 30% of export services, in addition to creating 319m jobs, equivalent to 1/10 of the total opportunities.

Moreover, the minister declared that the number of tourists increased worldwide by 6%.

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El-Lahun Pyramid to be opened for 1st time https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/27/el-lahun-pyramid-to-be-opened-for-1st-time/ Thu, 27 Jun 2019 11:47:13 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701275 Although the pyramid has been closed since its entrance was discovered up until now for restoration works, the ministry has decided to open it up for the public to visit.

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The Egyptian Ministry of Antiques is to open El-Lahun Pyramid for the first time on Friday, June 28, coinciding with the celebrations of 30 June.

Although the pyramid has been closed since its entrance was discovered up until now for restoration works, the ministry has decided to open it up for the public to visit.

El-Lahun (or Senusret II Pyramid) is 22 km away from the Fayoum governorate. It is made of mud brick and was constructed for pharaoh Senusret II in the Twelfth Dynasty on a 12 metre hill at the El-Lahun city outskirts.

Unlike the rest of the Egyptian pyramids which have their entrance at the north side, the El-Lahun Pyramid’s entrance is a vertical shaft under a princess’s tomb located about a dozen yards off to the east of the southern pyramid side. Interestingly, this was made to ward off grave robbers.

In 2009, archaeologists discovered a cache of pharaonic-era mummies in brightly painted wooden coffins near the El-Lahun Pyramid. The mummies were the first to be found in the sand-covered desert rock surrounding the mud-brick El-Lahun Pyramid.

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Opera show commemorates Holy Family’s trip in Egypt https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/26/opera-show-commemorates-holy-familys-trip-in-egypt/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:35:44 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=701115 Egypt to prepare file on trip, present it to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee

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Celebrating the Holy Family’s trip to Egypt, the Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Anany, and Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, attended Egypt’s cultural show held on Monday to commemorate the trip which the family took to Egypt.

The celebration was attended by several officials, including the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Waly; the Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs, Nabila Makram; and the Minister of culture, Inas Abdel-Dayem. The show was organised by Nahra, an NGO aiming to revive heritage.

In his speech, El-Anany stated that the Holy Family’s trip to Egypt has a huge religious and historical importance, which makes Egypt unique from other countries known for their religious tourism.

He added that the trip, which lasted for around three and a half years, led Egypt’s Coptic Church to be one of the leading churches across the world.

“The 25 areas which the family visited are still blessed holding their scents, as the family moved from Sinai to Upper Egypt,” he said.

El-Anany expressed his happiness that the event attracted both the government and NGOs’ attention, explaining that since 2015 many of these historical sites were opened after renovation, including the Hanging Church in Old Cairo.

He further declared that the ministry of antiquities formed a committee to prepare a file about the Holy Family’s trip in Egypt in order to present it to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

The Opera show will be translated into both English and French, in order to tour the world, starting with Beirut.

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Boom in hotel occupancy in conjunction with AFCON https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/24/boom-in-hotel-occupancy-in-conjunction-with-afcon/ Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:42:40 +0000 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=701007 A member of the Chamber of Tourism, Waheed Assem, told Daily News Egypt that the rate of hotel occupancy is going well, as the percentage of occupancy in all the governorates hosting the matches significantly increased

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Egypt is witnessing a big increase in hotel occupancy in coordination with the start of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosted by Egypt in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and Ismailia, with the participation of 24 teams, which will last until July 19 next.

A member of the Chamber of Tourism, Waheed Assem, told Daily News Egypt that the rate of hotel occupancy is going well, as the percentage of occupancy in all the governorates hosting the matches significantly increased.

He explained that hotel occupancy in Cairo amounted to 35,000 rooms, 4,000 in Alexandria, and 3,000 hotels in Borg El Arab.

Assem added that the occupancy rate in hotels in Ismailia reached 65%, while all the hotels in Ain Sokhna, near Suez governorate, were booked.

Mohammed Imbaby, Head of the Cafes, Restaurants, and Tourism Facilities Division in the Giza Chamber of Commerce told Daily News Egypt that the demand exceeded all expectations.

He explained that the restaurants and cafes are seeing lots of reservations and demand, in the presence of delegations from countries participating in the tournament.

He added that the original way the AFCON opening was presented, and the good organisation has increased expectations for more demand as the matches continue.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened its doors to the African public to enter and visit free of charge in conjunction with the tournament.

“The Library of Alexandria has approved the demand of the organising committee to allow African fans to enter the library free of charge at all times,” said Amer Hussein, the head of Group B in AFCON.

Hussein thanked the library officials’ request for approving the request of the committee, allowing fans from Nigeria, Guinea, Burundi, and Madagascar to enter the library as one of the important tourist landmarks, not only in Egypt, but in the world.

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Tourism Promotion to provide training for South Valley Tourism Faculty’s students https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/23/tourism-promotion-to-provide-training-for-south-valley-tourism-facultys-students/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 09:51:37 +0000 https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700857 Transportation capacity in Upper Egypt represents only 35% from total transportation capacity that ought to work to receive incoming tourists

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Chairperson of the Tourism Marketing and Promotion Committee in Upper Egypt and Vice President of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, Mohamed Osman, stated that the committee is to sign a cooperation protocol with the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels in South Valley University, in order to provide the faculty’s students training opportunities in hotels, tourist companies, and floating hotels.

His remarks came during his selection on the evaluation committee for the graduation projects of the students of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels at the South Valley University.

In that context, Osman explained that the return of the tourism movement, in addition to the current tourism indicators assures that the demand of the students for education in Faculty of Tourism and Hotels will increase in the future.

He noted that one of the main aspects and reasons behind obtaining a distinctive tourism experience, is the service provider and how he/she deals with the tourists.

“Hence evaluating the graduation projects that are submitted by the students is a must, due to their higher impact in the tourism movement,” he affirmed.

Furthermore, Osman revealed that most of the projects submitted by students are closely related to cultural tourism, as a result of the impact of the environmental surrounding for the students, as they are surrounded by the most amazing historical monuments. Moreover, he added that among the projects presented by students is a project on the future of e-tourism, and its impact on the future of traditional tourism, explaining that being synchronised with the issues of the sector raises the efficiency of tourism students.

Talking about the volume of the tourist movement, he clarified that there are some challenges that must be addressed in in order to achieve better progress and increase the volume of the tourist movement, including the shortage in the transportation capacity in Upper Egypt.

Osman further explained that the transportation capacity in Upper Egypt represents only 35% from the total transportation capacity that ought to work to receive incoming tourists.

“This problem can be addressed through allowing the import of three-year-used (from the manufacturing date) tourist buses,” he maintained.

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US market represents 3% of tourist arrivals to Egypt: Al-Mashat https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/19/us-market-represents-3-of-tourist-arrivals-to-egypt-al-mashat/ Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:30:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700688 Gulf Air operates 19 flights to Egypt weekly, says Bahrain’s tourism minister

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The United States market represents 3% of incoming tourism to Egypt, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said during her meeting with the US delegation participating in the 110th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held in the period from 16 to 18 June in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Al-Mashat asserted that her ministry is working to increase the number of American tourists in Egypt.

According to the State Information Service (SIS), the year 2010 was the best year for American tourist arrivals to Egypt, where more than half a million tourists visited the North African country, representing 3.8% of the total tourist arrivals in Egypt in the same year.

The number of American tourists declined after 2010. In 2015, only 294,000 Americans visited Egypt, representing only 3.2% of total tourist arrivals to the country in the same year.

For its part, the US delegation pointed to their country’s aspiration for more cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism. The US delegation included the White House Principal Deputy Chief of Staff in the administration of President Donald Trump., Emma Doyle; the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organisation Affairs, Kevin Moley; the Commissioner of the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, Paul Packer; and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organisation Affairs, Kathy Wills Wright.

During her participation in the UNWTO meetings, Al-Mashat also met with Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, Zayed Bin Alzayani, to discuss boosting cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism.

Throughout the meeting, Al-Mashat stressed the deep relations between the two Arab countries, expressing her ministry’s keenness to attract more tourists from Arab countries, especially Bahrain, pointing out that the Arab market represents about 30% of the tourist arrivals to Egypt.

For his part, Alzayani stated that Gulf Air operates 19 flights to Egypt weekly, landing in the airports of Cairo, Alexandria, and Sharm El-Sheikh.

He confirmed Bahrain’s interest to promote Egypt as a tourist destination, not only in Bahrain, but also across the world, relying on its good relations with the GCC and the Far East countries.

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World awaits opening of GEM: UNWTO https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/19/world-awaits-opening-of-gem-unwto/ Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:18:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700683 International tourist arrivals to grow by 3.4% in 2019, says organisation

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The whole world is awaiting the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is considered the largest museum in the world, said Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

While the museum is still under construction and is scheduled to open in 2020, the site chosen for the GEM is only 2km from the legendary pyramids.

The museum complex will be built on a plot of land approximately 117 feddan.

During the meetings of the 110th session of the executive council of the UNWTO, Pololikashvili

presented a report on the current trends in the international tourism, in which he talked about the global tourism situation and the tourism prospects for 2019, noting that the number of incoming international tourists worldwide increased by 6% in 2018, reaching 4.1 billion tourists.

Notably, the 110th session of UNWTO’s executive council was held from June 16 to 18 in Baku.

“International tourist arrivals in world to grow by 3,4% in 2019,” according to the Secretary-General of the UNWTO.

Moreover, during the meetings Pololikashvili announced the re-admission of the United States of America to the UNWTO, after 23 years of disappearance, explaining that this reinforces the importance of the UNWTO in the coming period.

For her part, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, welcomed the re-accession of the US to the organisation.

She also stressed the importance of placing the tourism sector as a priority on the agenda of international organisations, especially after the statistics showed that it has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors. The minister pointed out the global economic discourse toward protectionist policies and closed trade procedures, mentioning that the tourism sector is a way to overcome these policies.

She further explained that that travel and movement of individuals between countries contributes to the exchange of cultures and the spread of peace and understanding among people.

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AZAL to resume Charter Flights from Baku to Cairo July 8 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/15/azal-to-resume-charter-flights-from-baku-to-cairo-july-8/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:04:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700424 Egypt’s tourism revenues to come from various small source markets, better than depending on only 3,4 major markets representing 90% of annual revenues: El Damery

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The Azerbaijani National Aviation Company (AZAL) announced the resumption of its charter flights from Baku to Cairo starting from July 8 and from Sharm El-Sheikh from July 18, on Saturday evening in the presence of Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat.

 

The minister travelled on Saturday to the Republic of Azerbaijan to participate in the 110th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) which will be held from June 16 to 18 in Baku.

 

In that context, the Egyptian embassy in Azerbaijan indicated that this visit is the first ministerial visit from Egypt to the Republic of Azerbaijan since several years ago.

 

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of this visit in enhancing cooperation between the ministry, international bodies, and institutions to develop the tourism industry.

 

She explained that the WTO plays a major role in serving the world tourism sector and enhancing tourist cooperation.

 

Al-Mashat will participate as a keynote speaker in the panel discussion entitled “Protecting our heritage: social, cultural, and environmental sustainability.” The panel will be held during the meetings at the 110th session of the Executive Council of the WTO.

 

It will discuss how to promote the tourism industry in achieving sustainable development goals, the role of the WTO, governments, local communities, and the private sector, and it will present initiatives that promote social integration and gender equality in tourism.
Notably, Egypt is a member of the Executive Council at the WTO, which consists of 35 countries.

 

The current Chairperson of the Executive Council is Zambia. The First Vice-President is Argentina and the Second Vice-President is Thailand. The council meets twice a year.

 

The council’s task is to take all necessary measures, in consultation with the secretary-general, to implement its resolutions, recommendations, and reports to the general assembly.

 

The tourism sector in Egypt suffered a downturn since the 2011 Revolution. Egypt suffered a devastating blow particularly after the Russian passenger plane crash in Sinai that occurred in late October 2015 killing all passengers onboard.

 

Following the plane crash, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh amid concerns over the airport’s security measures, banning travel to Sinai.

 

By asking the former Chairperson of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhamy El-Zayat, if this incident was the reason behind stopping AZAL’s charter flights to Cairo from Baku, he said that there is no relation. He explained that Azerbaijan is a country with small population and small economy and thus there is less demand to travel.

 

Meanwhile, Hesham El Damery, the retiring president of the Tourism Promotion Board Authority, explained that the reason behind stopping their charter flights to Egypt, is related to different reasons including the world travel ban on Egypt since 2015, noting that this ban began to be removed and the tourism sector has begun to recuperate gradually once more.

 

“It is also related to the supply and demand, and to the marketing of the various tourism markets to promote Egypt as a tourist destination to their citizens,” he continued.

 

El Damery is very optimistic about the resumption of AZAL’s charter flights, explaining that this means that they ensured that Egypt is now enjoying political stability.

 

Furthermore, he explained that the resumption of charter flights means that the Azerbaijani tourist has increased their demand on Egypt as well as many other countries.

 

Concerning the point that Azerbaijan is a small country, he stated that attracting new nationalities to come and visit Egypt is a must as not to be affected by the disappearance of any country, assuring that every increase in tourist numbers even if by one tourist, represents a benefit and advantage to Egypt’s annual tourism revenues.

 

He further explained that if the state’s tourism revenues is coming from various small source markets, it will be better than depending on 3 or 4 major markets that represent 90% of the annual tourism revenues of Egypt.

 

Furthermore, he elaborated that average tourism spending in the last two years increased as the touristic base in Egypt changed, elucidating that the average spending of the Russian tourist is low, but now after the travel ban, Egypt witnessed visitors from United States, the Gulf, and Asian markets whose average spending is much higher than the Russian tourist.

 

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More than 190,000 Dutch tourists visit Egypt in 2018: Ambassador https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/15/more-than-190000-dutch-tourists-visit-egypt-in-2018-ambassador/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 13:59:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700421 Netherlands stepped up its efforts to assist Egypt in its difficult, courageous reforms

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More than 190,000 Dutch tourists visited Egypt in 2018 and 20,000 visas are being issued to Egyptians traveling to Holland, said ambassador of the Netherlands to Egypt, Laurens Westhoff.

Over the centuries, both the Netherlands and Egypt shared their knowledge to discover and understand Egypt’s archaeological treasures, the ambassador added during his speech at the event that the embassy organised on Thursday evening.

“We shared our knowhow and became involved in the development, maintenance, and expansion of the Suez Canal. All Dutch school children learn about the pharaohs and the pyramids,” the ambassador mentioned, highlighting the gradual development of the joint relationship with Egypt from a small Dutch presence of consuls, archaeologists, and contractors to “a full-fledged relationship.”

Netherlands is the second largest investor from the European Union (EU) in Egypt, he asserted, noting that his country wants to see the bonds with Egypt become even stronger.

The ambassador highlighted the strong economic partnership between the Netherlands and Egypt, stating that Dutch companies are long-term partners of Egypt. Together with their Egyptian partners, they provide up to 10,000 jobs for men and women in Egypt.

“This year, we have stepped up our efforts to assist Egypt in its difficult and courageous task of reforming its economy. We are creating financial instruments and incentives for Dutch agricultural and water expertise to be shared with Egypt,” the Dutch ambassador told Daily News Egypt two days ahead of the embassy’s celebration.

The embassy will strengthen its capacity with two Dutch experts on water and economy, in addition to the ones that the embassy already has, in order to ensure that it has the capacity to implement the different programmes with Egypt, the ambassador added.

The ambassador expressed his confidence that the partnership between the Netherlands and Egypt will grow and flourish even more in due time.

In honour of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday (King’s Day), the embassy celebrated the Dutch National Day on Thursday in the presence of senior Egyptian officials, influential figures, and representatives of the diplomatic community.

“King’s Day in the Netherlands is a confirmation of the strong bond between the Dutch Royal family and its citizens,” the ambassador said.

He added that the Kings Day underlines the country’s diversity and highlights the inclusive character of the Dutch nation.

“Our King reaches out to young and old, men and women, migrant and non-migrant, handicapped and non-handicapped,” the ambassador mentioned.

“Inclusiveness is the key. We believe that only together we can make a difference. Allowing all citizens to contribute brings prosperity,” the ambassador noted. He asserted that with this golden key, the Netherlands built a country that is a global leader in water, agriculture, trade, infrastructure, and education.

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Egypt launches electronic portal for visa applications https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/12/egypt-launches-electronic-portal-for-visa-applications/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 09:29:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700289 The Egyptian government has launched an electronic portal to help tourists apply for a visa to its territory

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The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press statement on Tuesday that the consular sector of the ministry, in cooperation and coordination with various concerned authorities in the state and Egyptian missions abroad, has completed the implementation of the first phase of the E-visa project in several foreign countries.

 

The ministry explained that this project came in light of the Egyptian government’s keenness to facilitate the issuance of various types of visas to foreign visitors. This is to encourage the movement of incoming tourism, to facilitate the entry of businessmen, and to increase the movement of trade and investment flow.

 

The new portal was launched in eight different languages. The first phase of the E-visa includes 46 foreign nationals, including the United States of America; the United Kingdom; Switzerland; Spain; Germany; Italy; Denmark; Bulgaria; Australia; the European Union; Australia; Canada; Japan, and South Korea.

 

Mainly, it includes countries whose nationals are allowed obtain visas on arrival, a visa upon arrival at Egyptian ports and airports.

 

The new site provides the service of issuing tourist visas only, for regular passport holders, with a fee of $25 for a single entry and $60 for several entries.

 

The tourism sector in Egypt suffered a downturn since the 2011 Revolution, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its onboard passengers were killed.

 

Following the plane crash, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh amid concerns over the airport’s security measures.

 

However, since 2018, the sector began to thrive again thus regaining its position once more, as Egypt is a country strategically located on both the Mediterranean and Red Seas, with incredible sandy beaches, astonishing landscapes, a warm winter climate, and undoubtedly the world’s largest collection of historical sites, temples, pyramids, and artefacts.

 

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism also launched a reform programme in November 2016 as the government is taking all the necessary procedures to revive the tourism sector which the state once had prior to 2011.

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International tourist arrivals grow 4% in Q1 of 2019: UNWTO https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/11/international-tourist-arrivals-grow-4-in-q1-of-2019-unwto/ Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:04:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700195 Total exports earnings from international tourism reach $1.7tn in 2018, says agency

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International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew by 4% during the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, compared to the same period last year, below the 6% average growth of the past two years, according to the UN World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) world tourism barometer and statistical index in May.

The UNWTO revealed that the growth was led by the Middle East with 8%, Asia and the Pacific by 6%, Europe and Africa both went up by 4%, while the Americas growth jump was by 3%.

“Confidence in global tourism performance has started to pick up again after slowing down at the end of 2018,” according to the latest UNWTO confidence index survey.

Furthermore, the UNWTO said that the panel’s outlook for the current May-August period is more optimistic than in the past three periods and more than half
of respondents are expecting a better performance in the coming four months.
Meanwhile, the UNWTO disclosed that total export earnings from international tourism reached $1.7tn in 2018, or almost $5bn a day on average.

 

Noteworthy, international tourism (travel and passenger transport) accounts for 29% of the world’s services’ exports and 7% of overall exports of goods and
services.

The UNWTO announced that for the seventh year in a row, growth in tourism exports is 4% which is higher than the 3% growth in merchandise exports in 2018.
The year 2018 consolidates strong results, becoming the second strongest year since 2010, according to the UNWTO.
Overall results were driven by a favourable economic environment and strong outbound demand from major source markets.
Concerning Egypt, last year saw strong growth for Egyptian travel and tourism as it became the fastest-growing country in North Africa, developing by 16.5%– second only to Ethiopia when reviewing the whole continent.
This is according to new research by the World Travel & Tourism Council, which represents the global private sector of travel and tourism

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Number of 8 Egyptian tour operators likely to visit Indonesia in June https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/09/number-of-8-egyptian-tour-operators-likely-to-visit-indonesia-in-june/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 20:25:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700041 Numbers of Indonesian students in Egypt witness a significant increase, says ambassador

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The Indonesian embassy in Cairo is organising a trip for eight Egyptian tour operators to promote Indonesian tourism, said Helmy Fauzy, the Indonesian ambassador, adding that the embassy received many applications for the visit which is expected to take place in June.

 

Egyptians’ inquiries to travel to Bali, Indonesia, recently hiked following the broadcasting of the Ramez Fel Shalal’ show (Ramez in the waterfalls) that was presented by popular entertainer Ramez Galal during the holy month of Ramadan, the ambassador noted.

 

“The show was a great promotion for Indonesian tourism. We supported the visas facilitation of the crew and we weren’t engaged in the preparations or the sponsorship,” the ambassador emphasised.

 

Notably, the ambassador met with representatives of some Egyptians travel agents and tour operators in Alexandria recently in the presence of the representatives of the Indonesian embassy team.

 

Egypt is a second home for most Indonesians, the ambassador noted, affirming that numbers of Indonesian students in Egypt witnessed a significant increase over the past couple of years.

 

“Last year, 2,000 Indonesian students came to study in Egypt while we anticipate the numbers to increase in the future. The warm welcome of the Egyptians encourages more students to come here to study,” the ambassador elaborated.

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Hapi Tours restructures, appoints new executive management team https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/09/hapi-tours-restructures-appoints-new-executive-management-team/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 19:33:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700032 Alaa Rady appointed as board member, Mohamed Mahmoud as CEO

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Hapi Tours announced on Sunday the appointment of a new executive management team hired in March 2019, with the aim of restructuring the business to drive growth.

Alaa Rady has been appointed as a member of the board and oversees setting the strategy and directing the restructuring and to improve Hapi Tours. His aim is to make it competitive and capable of reaching its maximum potential.

Rady is one of Egypt’s most competent strategic business management consultants with an impeccable international track record of turning companies around in less than one year.

Taking the position of CEO is Mohamed Mahmoud, who has over 20 years of experience in diversified investment, strategy experience, private equity, investment banking, and mergers and acquisitions.

Commenting on the restructuring, Mahmoud said, “One of the first steps we’re going to take is to combine our special courier and airfreight business divisions into one powerful business unit given the synergies they share.”

Mahmoud elaborated that both divisions have great financial and operational performance “that will soon be independently managed by world class courier and cargo professionals.”

He added that the company’s goal is to expand across north Africa in the next three years.

“Furthermore, we have an aggressive go-to-market plan that will double the special courier division in the coming 18 months,” Mahmoud stressed.

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Egypt to establish largest medical tourism city in Africa with EGP 20bn investments https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/09/egypt-to-establish-largest-medical-tourism-city-in-africa-with-egp-20bn-investments/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 00:49:38 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=699941 Project to be completed within five years

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The Chairperson of Badr City Development Authority, Ammar Mandour, announced that Egypt will begin the implementation of the largest medical tourism city in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa, with investments estimated at EGP 20bn.

 

Ammar disclosed in a press statement on Friday that 90% of the project’s investments are Egyptian, noting that the preliminary review of the project’s site was completed.

 

“The medical city will include 13 different specialised medical institutes with a capacity of 2,000 beds, a landing strip for flying ambulances, an educational hospital, and natural healing gardens, as well as a plant nursery,” according to the chairperson of the Badr City Authority.

 

Moreover, Mohammed Suliman, general-secretary of the Badr University, said that 10% of the city’s total capacity will be dedicated to the underprivileged, asserting that the project aims to provide the best medical services not only for Egyptians, but also for foreigners.

 

He explained that the total area of the project is estimated at 109 feddan, revealing that the first phase of the project will be completed after 30 months from the date of starting construction.

 

Furthermore, Suliman announced the project will be completed and fully operational within five years of execution.

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Dahab listed top one of MENA’s best beaches https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/09/dahab-listed-top-one-of-menas-best-beaches/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 00:17:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=699932 Want to go diving? Perhaps Snorkeling? Famous shipwreck? Come to Dahab

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Dahab has been featured as the most beautiful beach alongside eight others in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to National Geographic’s “Best Beaches in the Middle East” list.

 

As Dahab is one of the most treasured diving spots, it also has some of the most beautiful and diverse wildlife in all of Egypt. For instance, the corals in Dahab, according to National Geographic, are among the “healthiest in the region”.

 

National Geographic’s list also referred to one of Dahab’s illustrious sites: the Blue Hole. This diving site is a submarine sinkhole more than 91-metre-deep that is widely known among professional drivers, the list explained.

 

The Blue Hole is believed to be the deadliest diving site in the world with an arch that is 26-metre tunnel leading divers from the blue hole to the open water.

 

There are claims that the hole took the lives of 130 to 200 divers in recent years proving to be a deadly challenge.

 

Above the water and on Dahab’s coastline, visitors can witness the beautiful Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate which houses about a 165 plant species–some of which are rare kinds–and several desert animals.

 

Moreover, Dahab is also home to one of the best snorkelling spots in all of Egypt.

 

When in Dahab, divers can also go on exploratory diving trips where the SS Thistlegorm, one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, lies at the bottom of the sea.

 

The SS Thistlegorm is a British cargo ship that sank in 1941 after being attacked by the Germans during the Second world war. At the time, it was loaded with arms supplies, including ammunition, armoured vehicles, military motorcycles, guns, and aircraft spare parts.

 

The shipwreck was discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1955 and is now the jewel of diving in the Red Sea. It is about 30m metres deep in the shallow water.

 

Aside from Egypt’s Dahab, the eight other beaches from the region that made it to the list include Jordan’s Dead Sea Beach, Ölüdeniz Beach in Turkey, Tyre Beach in Lebanon, Kite Beach and Saadiyat Beach in the UAE, Salalah Beach in Oman, Djerba in Tunisia, and Nissi in Cyprus.

 

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Average cultural tourist spending in Egypt to reach $100 per day next season https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/03/average-cultural-tourist-spending-in-egypt-to-reach-100-per-day-next-season/ Sun, 02 Jun 2019 23:37:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699785 Japan tops list of high-spending countries, followed by the US, Germany, says Osman

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Cultural tourist spending in Egypt increased during the last season, and it would reach $100 per day in next season, Mohamed Osman, head of cultural tourism promotion committee in Upper Egypt, said.

A committee’s report, which monitors the changes witnessed this season, revealed the winter season saw a remarkable tourist recovery, especially in Luxor and Aswan.

Osman pointed out that the figures revealed positive changes in the sector compared to last year, most notably the high tourist spending rate.

In that context, Osman explained that the average expenditure of tourists reached its lowest level after January 2011 recording $25 per day, while the average spending last winter season recorded about $70 per day.

Japan tops the list of high-spending countries in Egypt, followed by the United States and Germany, while the Chinese tourism is in dire need of more effort to raise its spending rate,” the report disclosed.

Talking about the the cultural tourism target markets, Osman said that there are five major markets that witnessed a remarkable increase in the cultural tourism movement to Egypt during the last period, first of which is the Spanish market, then the Latin American market, followed by France, Germany, and the United States.

Some of the countries that  export cultural tourism have missed the market expectations, mainly the Italian market, and the flow indicator from the English market is particularly questionable, which was accounting for 40% of the total  flow of cultural tourism to Egypt, while it appears now in a very limited way despite all the facilities that were presented,” according to the report.

The report also pointed out that some target markets, that witnessed low tourism export after January 2011, started to visit Egypt in remarkable numbers, led by the Scandinavian market.

Meanwhile, there were three markets that represented a surprise for the sector in terms of tourists flow, including Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands, respectively.

Moreover, the report stated that the Japanese market ranked first among Asian markets in terms of tourist flow, noting that the number of Japanese tourists is increasing not only in winter season but also in summer.

While the Indian market maintained its flow at a constant level despite the very special offers from some Egyptian companies,” the report revealed.

Osman described the Chinese market in the report  as the treasure that has not been used, noting that China exports 150 million tourists a year.

If Egypt can attract and get only 1% of the Chinese tourism around the world, Egypt will have 1.5 million tourists a year,” the report continued.

The report pointed out that the Korean market began to recover since early November for the first time after a long period of decline in their movement to Egypt.

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Egypt, Bulgaria sign MoU to boost bilateral tourism relations https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/01/egypt-bulgaria-sign-mou-to-boost-bilateral-tourism-relations/ Sat, 01 Jun 2019 15:37:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699647 The signing ceremony comes on the sidelines of “Investing in Tourism Sustainability” Conference (ITSC) held in 30-31 May in Bulgaria.

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Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat and her Bulgarian counterpart Nikolina Angelkova inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the aim of enhancing bilateral tourism relations, which will subsequently contribute to the economic development and growth of the tourism sector in both countries.

The signing ceremony comes on the sidelines of “Investing in Tourism Sustainability” Conference (ITSC) held in 30-31 May in Bulgaria.

Al-Mashat stated in a press statement that the MoU aims to enhance and develop the joint tourism products in the fields of cultural tourism, beach tourism, culinary tourism, and other types of tourism.

The agreement also stipulates the exchange of information between the concerned parties, organisation and participation in international events in both countries to promote tourism products, such as annual tourism exhibitions and conferences.

Moreover, the two sides discussed the possibility of organising regular trips between Egypt and Bulgaria to promote tourism to Egypt.

For her part, the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism disclosed that she is going to visit Egypt in October, heading a delegation from the Bulgarian tourism sector.

Angelkova announced that her ministry is currently studying the possibility of establishing a town twining between Egypt’s Alexandria and Bulgaria’s Burgas, assuring that this issue will be discussed later.

The Bulgarian tourism minister expressed her keenness to learn more about the tourist

structural reform programme launched by the Egyptian ministry of tourism to develop and benefit from the tourism sector.

Notably, the Egyptian ministry of tourism launched in last November, a structural reform programme, with the aim of developing the tourism sector.

Egypt’s structural reform programme consists of a five-pillar strategy which focuses on institutional and legislative reforms, ramping up tourism promotion campaigns, developing tourism infrastructure, and re-branding Egyptian tourism to come in line with global trends.

Following the signing, Al-Mashat referred to the new aviation incentive programme launched by the ministry and its role in pushing more tourist inflows to Egypt.

In this regard, the Bulgarian minister of tourism stressed the importance of this programme in increasing the tourist inflows, expressing her country’s desire to benefit from Egypt’s experience in this field.

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