Within the government’s tourism promotional campaigns, Luxor and Aswan are the two destinations that may be neglected the most, even though both have suffered greatly from the decline in tourism.
To counter this, the private sector in the two cities is studying ways to target the European market, specifically Germany and England, by the end of September. The private sector aims to contract with tour operators and airlines to begin negotiations for charter flights.
Tharwat El-Agami, chairperson of the hotels chamber in Luxor, said the government had not launched promotional campaigns for Luxor and Aswan due to the failure of the promotional campaigns carried out for Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada after the Russian aeroplane crash in Sinai at the end of October 2015. Those campaigns did not lead to any positive results.
He explained that the private sector in the two provinces will organize self-funded promotional campaigns in Europe.
El-Agami added that the Egyptian companies will contract with private airliners, notably Air Berlin, to operate charter flights to Luxor and Aswan directly.
He further added that there is no specific budget for the new campaigns and they will depend on the financial abilities of local investors.
He pointed out that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will hold its next meeting in Luxor in October. This event will contribute to improving the image of Egypt abroad, although the organisation does not directly promote tourism.
He expected that the occupancy rate in the coming winter season will not be less than 20%, while it has currently reached 5%.
Samir Isaac, chairperson of the tourism companies chamber in Luxor and Aswan, said that the bookings for the winter season are still weak.
He said all the hotels are suffering from the decline in occupancy and bookings in the current period, adding that the occupancy rate has reached 10%.
Isaac noted that the occupancy rate used to be determined two years earlier. The hotels used to have an occupancy surplus and could not find enough places to accommodate tourists.
Many Chinese and Japanese tourists, as well as some Germans, are still visiting Egypt. Spanish tourists visit the country throughout the whole year, as Spain is the country with the highest outbound tourism in both summer and winter.
He added that Britain’s decision to suspend flights to Egypt until October 2017 has increased been a detriment to tourism in the area.
He pointed to the lack of a promotional campaign for Luxor and Aswan, although the Ministry of Tourism had formed a committee to develop tourism from new and potential markets, but there is no official news about said promotional campaigns.
He called for broadcasting intensive promotional campaigns to distant markets in China, Japan, and Korea as well as the markets in Western Europe.
Heidi Hemaya, the media planning manager at J. Walter Thompson Cairo (JWT), the advertising company responsible for Egypt’s promotional campaign abroad, said that the company will give Luxor and Aswan great attention in their promotional campaigns that will begin in September for the coming winter season.
She explained that there are certain markets that seek the type of cultural tourism present in Luxor and Aswan.
She pointed out that the company will focus on the European market because it is one of the quicker, high-yield markets. The campaign will target Western Europe for cultural tourism and Eastern Europe for beach tourism.
Alaa Abdel Wahab, head of the domestic tourism sector at the Tourism Activation Authority, said that Luxor’s hosting the UNWTO’s meeting will help boost tourism to Luxor.
He explained that these meetings include big conferences with large delegations, which should help tourism in the area.
He pointed out that Luxor cannot attract tourists during the summer due to the high temperatures.
He stressed that the authority follows the ideology and strategy of alternative markets to restore the movement of markets and to diversify tourism. He added that the Authority will organise various events and activities, whether cultural or entertainment, to bring tourists to Luxor and Aswan.