Hotel occupancy rates in Luxor and Aswan increased to 95% this winter season, an unprecedented rate since 2011, Treasurer of the Cultural Tourism Association Ehab Abdel Aal told Daily News Egypt.
He stated that the winter season started early in Egypt since October at an unprecedented rate since 2011.
The tourism sector in Egypt suffered a downturn since the 2011 Revolution, and the sector in Egypt suffered a devastating blow, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its passengers were killed.
Abdel Aal pointed out that the collapse of the British Tourist Company, Thomas Cook, impacted the rates of reservations in hotels in Upper Egypt, where it declined by more than 20%, but it was still the highest, compared to the previous years and it returned to the high rates during Christmas and new year bookings.
In late September, Thomas Cook officially announced its collapse after failing to secure its necessary funding, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad. The company’s debt globally amounts to £1.7 bn.
Meanwhile, the volume of debts of Thomas Cook for the Egyptian tourism sector does not exceed €14 m, of which €7m is for Blue Sky Travel Group, Chairperson of Thomas Cook’s agent in Egypt Blue Sky Travel Agency and owner of the Sunrise Inn, and Chairperson of Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETTA), Hossam El-Shaer told Daily News Egypt earlier.
On a positive side, Abdel Aal stated that Christmas and New Year bookings are much better than previous years, reaching 90%, an increase of 20% compared to the same period last year, due to the cultural tourism only, especially in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.”
Abdel Aal revealed that the volume of tourist spending coming for the purpose of cultural tourism exceeds three times that for beach and recreation.
He called on the state to pay attention to archaeological and cultural destinations, especially as they distinguish Egypt from the rest of the world.