Egypt offers incentives for flights

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


Egypt is offering incentives to shore up its tourism industry in southern Sinai on the Red Sea.

It is with fallout from the conflict in the Gaza Strip so far contained to under 10% of bookings in the country.

The Egyptian tourism minister said this on Monday.

Tourism, was on track to earn more than $13 billion this year. It is a key source of scarce foreign currency for Egypt .

This hit a target of 15 million visitors, despite some delayed reservations for the end of the year. Ahmed Issa said this in an interview.

A ratings firm warned on Monday that a fall in tourism due to the Gaza war could cause significant problems in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Some travellers are cancelling or postponing holidays to the Middle East and North Africa.

So far the impact is on the customers who have bought the regional products. Issa said on the sidelines of the World Travel Market trade fair in London.

This is because the tourism sector in Israel has actually practically shut down. So this is where they’re seeing the most significant impact.

Issa said Egypt was offering an extra $500 of incentives per flight landing in Sharm el-Sheikh.

This is because here customers were asking the largest number of questions.

Here they were working very closely with wholesalers, retailers and airliners to keep them committed to Egypt.

Sharm el-Sheikh is about 360 km (225 miles) south of Sinai’s northern, Mediterranean coast, which borders with the Gaza Strip.

Strong numbers from Germany and China had helped tourist numbers rise 7% above the previous year by the end of October, Issa said.

Egypt is trying to increase private sector participation, including to run services at tourist sites and airports.

It is a part of a plan to expand tourism by 30% annually.

There are several private sector groups, local and international, who have expressed interest in partnering with the Egyptian government in managing the airports, said Issa.

Egypt is also hoping for a boost from the vast, delayed Grand Egyptian Museum next to the Giza pyramids.

As Issa said, this may open officially between February and May next year.

Issa said that they were installing about 200 pieces a day today in the showcases, they’re finishing the last touches of the audio guides.

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