The average occupancy rate of Marsa Alam hotels in April reached 35%, according to deputy chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in Marsa Alam, Tarek Shalaby, adding that 80% of tourists are German.
Shalaby pointed out that the average price of accommodation per night ranges from $20 to $25, noting that the hotels will not raise the prices unless occupancy rates increase first.
The hotel capacity in the Marsa Alam area is about 11,000 rooms, with investments exceeding EGP 15bn. There are an additional 6,000 rooms currently under construction.
Shalaby said that bookings in Marsa Alam hotels are stable and were not impacted by the recent bombings in the Delta and Alexandria.
He pointed out that Marsa Alam is considered one of the important tourist areas in light of the state’s tendency to establish the Golden Triangle project, which links the Red Sea to the inner cities in the Nile Valley during the next few months.
He added that reducing flight prices for Egyptians will boost occupancy rates, especially in the summer, as many families and individuals come to spend their vacations on the sea.
He stressed that flight prices must be less than EGP 2,500-3,000 per person, as a family of four would then pay EGP 12,000 for the flights only.
He called upon the government to subsidise the flights for Egyptians.
Moreover, Shalaby said that 30 hotels have shut down recently in the area, driven by weak occupancy rates, while the remaining hotels hope the rates will increase to help ease losses.
He pointed out that foreign individual tourism in the region increased significantly recently, especially from Italy, even though Italian airlines do not operate flights to Marsa Alam. He explained that Italian tourists come via Turkish or Polish airways.
According to Shalaby, individual foreigners spend the most compared to groups.
He expected bookings to increase again in the winter season, especially from Italians and Germans.
He noted that the inflow of Arab nationalities in the region is still very weak, as they prefer going to Sharm El-Sheikh, especially Jordanians and Lebanese.
The tourism traffic to Egypt fell last year to 5.3 million tourists, compared with 9.3 million tourists in the previous year—a 40% decrease.
Shalaby called on the Ministry of Tourism to promote tourism to Marsa Alam, especially in European countries, which account for 72% of all tourist inflows to Egypt.