Egypt’s Ministries of Tourism and of Civil Aviation are studying the possibility of operating direct flights from the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh starting in January 2016, according to an official at the Ministry of Tourism.
The official said the Ministry of Tourism requested from EgyptAir to conduct two flights per week from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Riyadh to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. EgyptAir is still considering the proposal.
The official said about 1.6 million Arab tourists from the Gulf visited Egypt last year, accounting for $1.5bn out of $7.3bn, the total tourism revenue that year. Arab tourism was expected to increase this year but that the incident involving the killing of Mexican tourists in September and the Russian plane crash in October negatively impacted the flow.
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou was on a visit in the Emirate of Sharjah over the past two days in a meeting with Arab Ministers of Tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism issued a statement that Zaazou presented a plan to implement tourism packages that do not require funding. The statement also highlighted means of cooperation between Arab countries, such as training programmes, statistical systems, electronic exchange of experiences, and circulating periodicals papers between the Arab League countries.
According to the official, the flow of Jordanian tourists to Egypt increased by 20%, over the past two years, especially to Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, and Nuweiba. Most Jordanian tourists’ ages ranged between 30 and 50.
Head of Arab tourism at the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism Nasser Turk said the market has recently witnessed a lot of changes, and called for officials to reconsider the market and research it again.
“Arab tourists are no longer only interested in Cairo, but look for new cultures and beaches, due to the growing number of youths coming to Egypt seeking recreational activities,” Turk said.