Inbound tourism from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan grew by 400% in the last three months according to the Tourism Activation Authority’s (TAA) head of International Tourism Ahmed Shoukry.
The Ministry of Tourism is aiming for regional tourism to account for 20% of the total inbound tourism to Egypt, according to Shoukry.
Shoukry believes that, besides the GCC, Jordan represents approximately 80% of total Arab tourism to Egypt, claiming that the ministry has been successful in promotional efforts targeting the region over the last five months.
The Ministry of Tourism launched a tourism programme in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada last May, in collaboration with EgyptAir and hotels. Prices started from $450 per individual for three nights for tourists from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in an interview with Daily News Egypt in September that Egypt would launch the “Masr Qareeba” (“Egypt is Near”) programme across the region within days.
Egypt hopes to gain tourism revenues worth $10.5bn by the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, according to an official.
Daily News Egypt has reported that the TAA plans to participate in 21 international tourism bourses in various markets that export tourism to Egypt.
“Incentives are ongoing for private charter flights, particularly for tourist airports in Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Luxor and Aswan,” said the official.
Shoukry believes that the promotional efforts made by the sector will be dynamic during the coming months, displaying a variety in marketing techniques and targeted areas.
Shoukry will visit South Africa with a TAA delegation on Monday to market Egyptian tourism.
Average spending for South African tourists amounts to $130 per individual per night, compared to a $60 average for other types of tourists.
“A new category is being formed within Gulf tourism, and it is made up of youth. This category is different from that of older Gulf tourists whose trips are limited to Cairo and Alexandria only,” said Elhamy Zayat, Chairman of the Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers.
Zayat is hopeful regarding the possibility of attracting this category of tourists to Egypt once again, away from other locations including Turkey, Malaysia and Europe.