The Ministry of Tourism has launched promotional campaigns to encourage trips to Luxor and Aswan in order to boost domestic tourism, according to Ahmed Moustafa, the manager of the Egyptian Tourism Authority’s Red Sea office.
Moustafa explained since the 25 January Revolution Luxor and Aswan saw a very deteriorating tourist flow, which was a big reason for the government to launch a new tourist campaign titled “ Egypt in our hearts” to motivate the foreign and domestic tourism to Luxor and Aswan, coinciding with schools’ midterm vacation.
“The campaign was launched with the cooperation of Egypt Air and the official tourist companies to offer lower prices, reaching EGP 1,500 per person, including transportation and full-board accommodation,” said Moustafa.
Luxor is characterised by the “world’s greatest open air museum”, the Al-Karnak temple. Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs of the West Bank Necropolis, which includes the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.
Moustafa emphasised that the campaign was welcomed by Egyptians, raising the domestic trips to Luxor and Aswan to 80%.
Meanwhile, Moustafa noted that this year the tourism ministry did not further plan for new campaigns to encourage tourism in Red Sea cities and Saint Catharine camps, because the government already has been targeting them during the past couples of years.
Echoing on Moustafa’s statements, Sara Alla, employee at Yalla Travel Tourism marketing company, told Daily News Egypt that the last period saw a jump in demand on Luxor and Aswan trips.
“The average price of each trip reaches EGP 1,200 including accommodation, EGP 1,400 including train transportation, and EGP 2,000 including air flights,” she said.
On the other hand, Bakry Abdel Gelil, head of the bazaar owners association, said that the Egyptian visits this year did not exceed the normal rate, which is 30%.
Moreover, Abdel Gelil noted that since the 25 January Revolution, foreign tourism in Luxor and Aswan has been ailing and he condemned the big tourist flow indices announced by the government.
“Foreign tourism does not increase past 20%, which is a disaster, especially as Luxor and Aswan depend on nothing but tourism. We are expected to witness a hunger uprising from people here,” Abdel Gelil said.
He called on the government to reconstruct the tourism industry in Egypt, especially with the monopoly of the bazaars in each hotel, which prevents the tourist flow from going to other bazaars.
In the beginning of the New Year, the tourism ministry’s economic advisor Adla Ragab said that the ministry plans to encourage Egypt Air flights from London and Paris to Luxor and Aswan over the next five months.
The value of subsidies has been set at EGP 1,000, within a plan to subsidise tourist flow to Upper Egypt, said Ragab.
Tourist spending in Q3 of 2014 was at $80.1 per day, compared to $73 per day in Q2 of the same year, a significant improvement compared to 2013, when spending was at $63 per day, according to Ragab. She added that there is a projected recovery in spending to reach 2010 figures when spending was at $85 per night.