The Tourism Development Authority (TDA), the Ministry of Tourism’s economic arm, has started blueprinting the lands under its authority on the coast of Gulf of Suez in South Sinai.
This covers the 185m sqm under the TDA’s authority, in the area of El Tor-Ras Mohamed, according to Head of TDA, Serag el Din Saad.
Saad said that proposing the lands will be coordinated with the South Sinai Governorate. The lands that are under the authority of TDA lie in the area from the beginning of El-Tor area until Ras Mohamed, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Suez.
According to Saad, the TDA has yet to decide the date for proposing the lands to investors, adding that the area has significant investment specifications in South Sinai.
The TDA has conducted a trilateral protocol with the General Organization for Physical Planning and the South Sinai Governorate. This focuses on the operations of land planning, which guarantees proposing comprehensive tourism development projects, according to a Ministry of Tourism statement.
“Offering the lands will be according to the method of large integrated projects which area exceeds 1m sqm,” Saad added.
The Ministry of Tourism is working on the establishment of an airport in Ras Sidr on an area of 20m sqm, in coordination with the Egyptian Airports Company (EAC), according to the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Development president.
The airport plan accelerates the pace of implementing tourism projects in Ras Sidr, which is close to the area between El-Tor and Ras Mohamed to which the authority is currently putting project plans.
A number of investors believe the Gulf of Suez’s east coast will be a promising area for tourism investment, as it possesses large resources for the sector.
“There are some investment areas in which investment has reached a state of saturation, especially in Sharm El-Sheikh,” said Hesham Ali, head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai. He added the investors are currently searching for opportunities, and the area between El-Tor and Ras Mohamed will be a point of attraction for them.
Hotel capacity in South Sinai is currently at 62,000 rooms, according to Hotels Chamber statistics, representing one-third of the operating hotel capacities in Egypt.
In the nine months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2014-2015, tourism income amounted to $5.5bn, compared to $3.4bn in the same period last year.
According to Ali, mega projects will be the most convenient model under which to offer lands to utilise the tourist potential in the area.
However, Vice Head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai Adel El-Sherbini believes the area has to offer a new tourist product that is different from Sharm El-Sheikh. This will provide integrated tourist services and raise the average spending of tourists.
The association demands service as well as entertainment projects that would increase the tourism income in Egypt.
The average spending of a tourist per night has increased starting from the first quarter of 2014 to $77 per night, compared to $71 at the end of last year, according to the Sub-Accounts Unit at the Ministry of Tourism.