“Our foreign guests in the county were never ever targeted”
Egypt’s minister for tourism tells TTG that he is confident the number of inbound tourists to his country will return to their peak 2010 levels by the end of 2013. Hisham Zaazou says that recent demonstrations will not have a lasting impact on tourism arrivals.
“Egypt has always welcomed tourists”, he says. “Our foreign guests in the county were never ever targeted, and that stands for itself. Things will flow back to normal in the coming months.”
Europe is Egypt’s most important market, making up 76% of all tourist numbers. Zaazou points to arrivals from the UK, for example, which were up 9% in August compared to the same month last year, reaching 167,100.
“We are on a curve which is going up, and I think that trend will continue,” he says. “Our occupancy rates for hotels in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor were just 8-10% full this year until very recently. I called on Saturday for an update and found that they are now past 25%.”
Zaazou continues: “I’m looking forward to the next few months. The figures are already looking better than earlier in the year and they show a real upsurge in demand for the country at large. By the end of 2013, I think we will come back to 2010 levels, and then we will move upwards.”