With an ongoing tourism crisis in Sharm El-Sheikh, companies have sought to offer their safari and diving trips attractive prices for Egyptians and foreigners in an attempt not to lose over the Christmas season.
“This is the fourth day without business or guests [tourists],” Ahmed, an operator at a safari company, said. “We have been waiting for this Christmas season for about four months now.”
Ahmed said a four-hour Bedouin dinner with open buffet, a tanoura show and a belly dancing show costs EGP 120 for Egyptians and EGP 150 for foreigners. A yacht trip to Tiran Island would have cost EGP 130 for Egyptians and EGP 150 for foreigners. The season turned out to be a disappointment with all the tourists gone, he said.
“The Tiran trip starts at 9am and we spend the whole day on a yacht with no stops at any shore. We have three snorkelling stops and we offer complementary soft drinks and water on the boat as well as an open buffet lunch,” he said.
A morning trip to Abu Galoum would include a two-hour safari in a Jeep and a one hour camel ride along the seaside. The trip also includes lunch in a Bedouin tent that costs EGP 250 for Egyptians and $40 for foreigners.
All trips include transportation from and to the hotel and that are no specific minimum number of people be required for any of these trips.
On how safe the safari and diving trips are, Ahmed said “all of Sharm El-Sheikh is safe. An armed police officer accompanies us on trips with US and Israeli tourists to make sure nothing happens. If the trips were not safe, the police would not have allowed us to go in the first place.”
Prices for the Bedouin trip can increase to EGP 180 for Egyptians and foreigners. The highest price for a trip on a luxurious yacht was $70 for Egyptians in the morning and $50 at night. For foreigners, the trip’s price surges to $100 in the morning and $80 at night.
With the lack of tourists and the desperation of companies, the prices for the trips can drop significantly and mainly depends on the negotiation skills of the tourist.