The Egyptian tourism industry set to face challenges in 2020, after three years of stellar and robust growth during the 2017-2019 when the market recovered from a series of political, economic and security challenges. The industry slowdown this year is due to the Covid-19 pandemic that will cripple global travel and tourism.
Egypt is one of the top 30 largest countries with its 1 million square kilometers of land, over than 100 million populations; Egypt is also a country that is recognized for its geographic distribution. The Nile, the lifeline of its 100 million human beings, the focal point of urban planning, an incredible 6,695 km gift of sustenance for Egypt and three other countries, making it the longest, and arguably most vital, river in the world. Along this stretch of the Nile is the world's most intensive concentration of temples, tombs and palaces constructed over the span of 4,000 years.
The Egyptian government announced aUSD6.4bn (EGP100bn) stimulus in March 2020 to combat the impact of corona virus. We expect the travel and tourism industry to be a major recipient of the potential funding.
The Egyptian Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform announced in Q2 2019 that it would invest up to USD316mn in the Sinai Peninsula to develop tourism by the end of 2020.
Flight suspensions, border closures and fleet groundings have remained much the norm for much of H1 2020 but the situation is beginning to improve as of Q3 2020 as tourist flights to key resort towns such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh beginning to resume.
Based on the latest market data, it is estimated that more than 65 hotels are in the construction pipeline as of Q320.
- The Egyptian government has begun discussions with European lawmakers to ease border controls over the coming months. The government has implemented a number of health and safety protocols to combat the impact of the pandemic.
- The Egyptian government will work effortlessly to bolster the domestic and international components of the tourism industry over Q420 as the pandemic aftershocks subside. Key resort airports including harm el Sheikh and Hurghada began offering PCR coronavirus tests for USD30 to prospective visitors in a bid to alleviate some of the health related concerns.
·It is expected for the tourism sector to recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 and for the travel to rebound in 2021. Furthermore, the ambitious tourism reform strategy spearheaded by Ministry of Tourism is beginning to yield fruitful dividend
Unique Regional Destination: Egypt's large and affluent middle-class positions a growing number of Egyptians, who are vacationing in the country each year. Allowing a broader market to penetrate, for not only the attraction of foreign nationalities and currencies, but the local travelers as well.
Roman ruins in the northern port city of Alexandria are reminiscent of Egypt's diverse background. Medieval architecture is visible throughout Cairo, and Khan El-Khalili is one of the world's oldest outdoor bazaars.
Scope of attraction
· Historical Sites: Excavation sites throughout the country continue to uncover clues to Egypt's rich heritage. The remnants of Egypt's long and varied past can still be visited today along the banks of the Nile River, from Upper Egypt at Abu Simbel near the Sudanese border, through the Greater Cairo Area and on to Alexandria. Sites in Upper Egypt, including Abu Simbel, Aswan and Luxor, serve as links to Egypt's Pharaonic past (The country has seven destinations listed as UNSECO World Heritage Sites, including Ancient Thebes and Historic Cairo). In Greater Cairo, tourists may visit Egypt's most iconic destination: the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
·Beaches and Resorts: Celebrated for its year-long sunny weather, Egypt, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada in specific, boasts a vibrant undersea life, with the marvelous coral reefs located off the Sinai Peninsula in the Red Sea. From the resort towns along the Red Sea coastline, to diving and snorkeling excursions off the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt provides tourists with a unique selection of vacation destinations.
·Religious Sites: One of the most popular destinations is St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, the site of the Biblical burning bush. It was built close to a cave where it is believed the Holy Family stayed. Back in the capital, tourists can visit Coptic Cairo, where situated some of Egypt's oldest Christian and Muslim religious sites, including the Hanging Church. The capital city is also home to important mosques dating to the earliest days of the Umayyad period (661-750 CE).
· Eco Sites: An enormous terrain, including desert landscapes, oases, canyons and falls. Egypt's unique Eastern and Western deserts offer some of the most popular desert safari excursions in the world, while trekking through the sands and mountains of Sinai are also chances to explore wildlife and unique eco sites, including lakes and olive groves.
·Health and Rejuvenation: A medical conference was held on March 2017 in Sharm El-Sheikh to highlight Egypt's potentials as an increasingly popular venue for med¬ical tourism, treating patients from psoriasis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, acne and eczema, and where Arabs and Europeans seek high quality, affordably priced cosmetic and other clinical procedures. From the healing natural minerals in Safaga and Helwan, and the luxury of restorative oases at Dakhla and Siwa where rivers and gardens blend with traditional local culture, to the incredible fruit plantations and gardens, surrounding Dakhla dates that go back to the time of the Pharaohs. Egypt currently attracts an estimated 50,000 tourists seeking medical treatments annually. It is also currently witnessing investment in the development of medical centers such as Port Ghalib in Marsa Alam and the Marassi project in the North West coast.
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