The initiative “Spend winter in Egypt”, launched jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been met with positive response from Egyptians. The initiative, which runs till 28 February 2021 and aims at promoting tourism in an effort to mitigate the effect of direly reduced travel under coronavirus restrictions, was launched by Minister of Tourism Khaled al-Anani from Aswan on 15 January which coincided with Aswan National Day.
“Spend winter in Egypt” targets eight of Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations: Luxor and Aswan in the south of Egypt; Sharm al-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba in South Sinai; and Hurghada and Marsa Alam on the Red Sea coast.
To motivate travellers, the initiative offers hugely discounted rates for flight tickets, hotel accommodation, and tickets to visit touristic sites and monuments in the destinations targeted. On the domestic tourism level, flight tickets cost EGP 1,500 – 2000 on EgyptAir, and hotel room rates range from EGP300 – 600 per person for full board accommodation in a double room including taxes. Some 150 hotels and floating hotels have joined the initiative.
The Ministry of Tourism has moreover launched a media campaign to promote the initiative and the tourist destinations. Tickets to monuments are now sold at 50 per cent discount.
According to Ghada Shalaby, Deputy to the Minister of Tourism, there has been a surge in hotel and flight bookings in response to the initiative. All flights and hotels are strictly following COVID-19 restrictions to ensure safe travel and accommodation for guests. Abdel-Fattah al-Assi, Aide to the Minister of Tourism, said that flight rates especially have been discounted given that flying is the means most widely used to travel to the tourist destinations in question. For his part, Hisham al-Shair, member of the Chamber of Hotel Establishments, said he expects hotels to start reaping the harvest of the initiative by the elf January.
An additional value to be reaped from the “Spend winter in Egypt” initiative is an expected surge in the sales of handcrafted and tourist souvenir artefacts crafted by locals. These had seen a painful drop, if not standstill, in the sale of their crafts on account of the disrupted travel market in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.
24 January 2021