Hotels in Luxor and Aswan hope to increase occupancy rates following the transportation minister’s decision to reduce fares for trains travelling from Cairo in the beginning of April.
Chamber of Tourism Companies in South Valley former chairperson Tharwat Agami said the occupancy rate ranges now between 10% and 25%, while many hotels have remained closed for over four years, especially floating hotels.
However, Chamber of Hotels Chairperson Mohamed Ayoub said hotel occupancy rose for floating hotels, increasing by more than 60% starting from the middle of 2015, as a result of tour packages provided by the Ministry of Tourism.
Ayoub said the occupancy rate fell following the end of the mid-year vacation, as the majority of guests were Egyptian and the rest were from west Europe and east Asia.
An official from Watania Sleeping Trains and Catering Services, who spoke to Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity, said the number of train carriages operated last year fell by more than 70%.
He expected that the Ministry of Transportation’s decision to decrease ticket fares for Egyptians and foreigners would lead to operating only 75 train carriages, out of 101 carriages owned by the company.
Watania decreased ticket fares for foreign and Arab passengers to $10-$30 per person in single and double cabins for foreigners, and EGP 100 for Egyptians, according to a statement sent to the Chamber of Tourism Companies.
The ticket price in a single cabin dropped from $120 to $110 per person, while the ticket price in the double cabin dropped from $100 to $80 and $70 for 4-9-year-old children, according to the statement.
The ticket price for Arabs travelling from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan also dropped, with a single cabin costing $90 and a double cabin costing $60 per person, while the ticket price for 4-9-year-old children costs $50.
According to Sherif Al-Najar, head of Public Relations at Watania, Arab tourists are being treated equally as foreign tourists would, as ticket prices were reduced to increase occupancy rates by 25%.
Najar said the company received the approval to decrease train fares from the Ministry of Transport to support local tourism in Luxor and Aswan, amid the current circumstances witnessed in the country.
He added that the company seeks to turn its losses into profits during 2016 after the approval of the Ministry of Transport of this step, refusing to disclose the volume of the company’s losses in 2015.
The ticket price for Egyptians travelling from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan dropped, with a single cabin costing EGP 500 and a double cabin costing EGP 300 per person, while the ticket price for 4-9-year-old children costs EGP 270.
The ticket price from Cairo to Qena now costs EGP 450 for a single cabin and EGP 250 per person in a double cabin, and the ticket price for 4-9-year-old children costs EGP 220.
The ticket price from Cairo to Assiut now costs EGP 420 for a single cabin and EGP 220 per person in a double cabin, and EGP 200 for 4-9-year-old children.