The Tourism Activation Authority plans to organise the Arab Tourism Forum mid-March in Sharm El-Sheikh in coordination with the Arab Tourism Organisation, according to authority chairman Sami Mahmoud.
Arab tourism comes at the forefront of markets in which the Ministry of Tourism recently operates on and it represents 20% of the total tourist influx to Egypt annually.
“We implemented an action plan over the past two years in the Gulf market resulting in a growth of more than 20% of this market,” Mahmoud said. “The ministry will work on a strong presence in the countries of the [Moroccan] market in the current period in cooperation with tour operators and the Egyptian Federation of Private Aviation.”
The authority asked Egyptian tourism companies and hotels to participate in the forum owing to the importance of the Arab market. Mahmoud hopes there will not be a huge retreat in tourist influx to Egypt by the end of 2016; the state lost its chance in the winter season.
Member of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism Hussein Shokri said the Arab influx pushed occupancies growth during 2015 in Cairo. “The hotel occupancy in Cairo by the Arab influx exceeded 80% in some months, especially during mid-2015 and we hope for an increase this year,” he said.
Hotel capacity in Cairo is about 30,000 rooms. Arab tourists prefer hotels with a Nile view hotels in downtown Cairo and hotels near Cairo International Airport for their business trips.
Shokri said Arab tourism in the past period achieved major breakthroughs, pushing tourist directions in the region to compete with Turkey, Morocco, and Dubai. Egypt has a limited share of the Arab influx still and is able to attract more than 3m tourists from Arab countries annually.