The Ministry of Tourism plans to reconsider stimulus programmes for charter flights to increase incoming tourism to Egypt after
changes in the global tourism market, said Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou.
Zaazou said: “The systems of filled and vacant seats will be coupled and determined by the specifications of each market so as to drive the movement of inbound travel to Egypt.”
The Ministry of Tourism plans to offer economic incentives to charter aviation, according to Zaazou. Economic provisions for charter flights came to $15m last year, the ministry said.
During a press conference Tuesday, Zaazou said that the largest percentage of inbound tourist traffic to Egypt comes through aviation and must continue via stimulus programmes.
Tourist traffic to Egypt fell to 4.5m tourists during the first half of this year, a 25% decrease from the same period last year. Last year, the number of tourists to Egypt decreased to 9.5m, compared to 11.5 million tourists during 2012.
The Egyptian tourism sector is facing numerous problems related to the yet to be finalised real estate tax, as well as the decreasing numbers of workers in the industry, said Zaazou. Employees of the tourism sector have begun working in other sectors due to the increasing weakness of tourism in the past three years.
Over the course of the next week, the minister will focus on employee training in the field in order to restore the effectiveness of the Egyptian tourism product. “During the past three years, hotel owners have been faced with a lot of difficulties and losses,” he said.
Zaazou added that his ministry had decided to close three of the Tourism Activation Authority (TAA)’s offices in order to cut state expenses.
The ministry intends a public relations campaign in cooperation with the private sector to promote Egyptian tourism in five key countries in Europe, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and England, according to Zaazou.
Coastal tourism represents the largest reason for tourist arrivals to Egypt, “which is why we focus on promoting tourist areas in Sharm El-Sheikh and the Red Sea,” Zaazou said.
In terms of cultural tourism, Zaazou has said that his ministry has signed agreements with foreign airlines in the Indian market to increase the tourist numbers arriving to inland areas in Egypt, such as Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.
According to the Zaazou, his ministry and the TPA are working together to cooperate with 11 major tourism companies in India that account for 80% of the volume of tourist traffic in India.
A new route between New Delhi and Cairo will be launched in October, with 3 flights between the cities each week. This will bring the total flights between Egypt and India to 7 flights a week, including 4 flights from Mumbai. It will increase the opportunities through which Indian tourism to Egypt can be promoted.