Maher Nassif, chairperson of the board of Hepton Tourism Transport Company, said that the tourist traffic to the North Coast declined from last year at the present time without specifying the percentage of decline.
Nassif attributed in an interview with Daily News Egypt that going to the North Coast by buses declined, due to that the majority of Egyptians preferring to travel to the region through their cars.
What is the rate of the North Coast trips via buses compared to other regions?
The North Coast trips via buses or cars owned by private companies is relatively low compared to the same period last year, with other areas such as Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, accounting for the largest percentage.
With full occupancy rates on buses heading to Hurghada or South Sinai 100% full rate for coming or going trips from those areas compared to low fill rates heading to the North Coast.
Due to the high turnout in the Red Sea and South Sinai regions, hotels are offering the same price as other hotels in the North Coast.
It is not about the low demand for transportation on the North Coast through private buses to double demand because of prices, but also the preference of families and individuals to move their own cars to those areas.
How many tours do the company run daily for different areas?
Hepton has been carrying about 50 land trips a day since the start of the summer season, and these trips are going to various tourist areas in the country, whether in Hurghada, South Sinai, or the North Coast.
Has the price of land trip tickets increased during the current season?
Certainly, the increase in the price of fuel, as recorded 10% increase in the price of tickets for all trips to any area or tourist province.
And tourist transport companies were forced to raise prices because those recent increases in fuel “increases were not unnecessary”.
What are the obstacles facing the tourism transport sector with the banks?
Tourist transport companies cannot take advantage of the initiatives and loans offered by banks, given the high interest rates, which reached 20%.
Companies can take advantage of bank loans to renew their transport fleet, if they carry only about 50% of the value of the buses, which reached EGP 3.3m for the medium-class buses of Mercedes or MCV.
And we hope that the situation will change over the next year with the improvement of the inflow of tourists to Egypt, as the tourist companies in the current period works fleets on the domestic tourism traffic destined for the various coastal areas.
Are there restrictions on renewing the bus fleet?
There were already restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Tourism obligating tourist transport companies to replace and renew the buses periodically to keep pace with the model of recent years.
In the recent period, the tourism sector in a state of stagnation, forcing companies not to commit to renew the models of buses because of high prices in return for the decline in income due to the lack of tourist traffic to Egypt during the past years.
Most of the fleets of tourism currently allocate the 2009 models of buses for the transportation of pilgrims, while the older models such as the 2007 model, were somewhat allocated to internal transportation destined to most of the touristic governorates inside Egypt.
The tourist transport sector suffers from a total stagnation with the inability to afford the replacement and renewal of the existing bus fleet.
Most of tourist fleets are currently confined to domestic Egyptian flights or Hajj and Umrah trips.
In the event of the return of foreign tourism to normal rates, not all existing fleets of tourist transport will be sufficient to accommodate the volume of traffic and flights.