The Ministry of Tourism will launch the international promotional campaign for tourism in Egypt at a conference in London during the first week of November.
According to Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou, the campaign launch in Egypt is being undertaken through international figures to promote Egyptian tourism. International actor Morgan Freeman participated in the campaign, and a concert by the world-renowned musician Yanni is taking place at the Pyramids of Giza.
The tourism minister announced a short-term plan that was launched this month to next March, to improve the flow of tourists to Egypt next year.
The ministry signed a contract with JWT for three years to implement a promotional campaign at an annual cost of $22.6m and a total cost of $68m. The contract states that JWT will only get between 3%-4% of the campaign cost per year as a commission.
“We are looking forward to making next year a beginning for improvement, whether in revenues or numbers,” said Zaazou, noting that Egypt targets tourism revenues of $10bn throughout 2016.
The total tourism income to Egypt during the first eight months of 2015 amounted to $4.6bn, and the ministry hopes to reach $8bn by the end of the year.
Elhamy El-Zayat, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, said the federation is working on the campaign in Egypt and abroad in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism.
According to El-Zayat, tourism income is good considering the events Egypt underwent, especially after June when there were many terrorist bombings and the assassination of late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat.
The federation includes five chambers, each of which represents a tourist activity. The Chamber of Hotels and Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies are considered the federation’s most important chambers.
Chairman of the Chamber of Hotels Mohammed Ayoub said Egyptian hotels are participating with the Tourism Activation Authority in all conferences and events in Egypt and abroad, whereby the coming period will see intense presence at large exhibitions.
The Ministry of Tourism has called on Egyptian hotels to participate strongly in the activities of the London exhibition that will be held in the first week of November.
Head of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai Hesham Ali said the tourism flow to Sinai is currently stable, expecting it to grow by mid-November to the end of December.
Sharm El-Sheikh is the largest tourist city in Egypt and accounts for about 50% of the hotel capacity in the South Sinai governorate, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels.
Sharm El-Sheikh also accounted for about 45% of the annual inbound travel movement to Egypt over the last four years, according to Ali, who noted that current occupancy rates range between 40% to 60%.
However, average occupancy rates in Taba, Nuweiba in Sinai do not exceed 15% according Samy Soliman, head of the Taba and Nuweiba Investors Association. He explained that the region has been suffering a decline in tourist traffic over the past four years.
Soliman called on the support of the state to the region, either through restructuring debt owed by hotels or launching tourism programmes for Egyptians to raise occupancy rates.
South Sinai includes 69,000 rooms, while the Red Sea governorate includes 62,000 rooms of a total number of 225,000 rooms in Egypt.
Chairman of the Tourism Investors Association Adel Rady added that the campaigns the government will launch over the next two months will help increase the inbound flow. He added that Poland’s decision to ease travel warnings to Egypt will greatly benefit Egypt.
As for Luxor and Aswan, Zaazou has said the ministry will allocate 25% of the total cost of the promotional campaign for that region. He noted that the ministry has been negotiating with foreign travel agencies to increase travel potential to the region.