Tourist occupancies in Marsa Alam increased from 35% last week to 45% this week, according to the vice chairman of the Investors Association in the region, Tarek Shalaby.
Shalaby also mentioned that the occupancy rate increased during the week with the growing flow of tourists from Western Europe, especially Italy. This rise was also due to the growing flow of Egyptian families who are on their mid-year vacation.
Regional investments amount to EGP 10bn, and include 15,000 rooms as well as about 7,000 rooms under construction, Shalaby added.
He requested the Ministry of Civil Aviation reduces trip costs for Egyptian families, saying: “It is unreasonable that the trip costs EGP 2,000 per capita.”
The region hopes travel costs for Egyptians are reduced to encourage more occupancy, in light of the decline on foreign arrivals to the country over the past four years.
According to Shalaby, hotels have negotiated with private airlines to launch a four-night tourism programme with prices starting from EGP 1,200. This includes accommodation and flight tickets, but the deals are facing hefty fees from the Marsa Alam International Airport, as it is considered a private airport.
According to the vice chairman: “State subsidy preserves EGP 10bn worth of investments from closure and layoffs and increased unemployment.”
The region is self-reliant in providing road and lighting infrastructure, Shalaby said, adding that the “aviation and energy crises are among the gravest obstacles the region faces”.
Last Thursday, Daily News Egypt revealed that the Ministry of Tourism plans to launch new and renewable energy usage in six hotels in the region. It will run as a trial and error experiment, and will have an investment of EGP 2m in loans to hotels.
“The state is currently selling diesel fuel for 18 piasters, and we hope the region shifts to new energy, but the financial circumstances faced by hotels must be taken into consideration, and the cost of new energy must be reduced,” said Shalaby.