Al-Kamal Company for Tourist Transport began organising trips and transportation Thursday to Nuweiba, Dahab, and South Sinai. The company’s initiative targets to bolster occupancy rates in these touristic areas, which are at a disadvantage due to the absence of efficient transportation to the region, according to chairperson of the company Tamer Kamal.
Kamal told Daily News Egypt that the price per individual is EGP 150 for the trip. He expects that the coming week will see a high turnout, maybe even overbooking, to the region as people want to spend Eid Al-Adha national holiday at camps in Ras Shaitan.
The company owns a small fleet of about 14 vehicles. Once the influx of tourists to the region has grown more, Kamal said the company will study increasing the fleet.
Hotels in Nuweiba and Taba have been suffering from weak occupancy rates over the past five years, which led to more than 20 hotels there shutting down and several hotels being partially closed to cut costs.
The company has received 40 reservations for cars, each carrying 10 passengers for just EGP 1,550, Kamal said.
The company intends to send four cars per week to the Nuweiba area, in light of the increase in reservations during the current period.
Rabia Gad, chairperson of Abanoub Travel, said there is a lack of marketing to tourists for travel to the South Sinai region. The availability of tourist transportation to that region will push occupancy rates up again.
”We call on the state to support investments in the region,” said Gad.
According to Gad, investments amount to more than EGP 15bn, but every year the state misses out on millions of job opportunities that could have reduced the unemployment rate—which is exacerbated day by day due to the crisis in Egypt’s tourism sector over the past five years.
He added that the South Sinai region provides touristic services that are not available in any other places in Egypt, such as safari, coral reefs, and a “calm environment that blends the sea, the desert and Bedouin life together in the heart of the Sinai desert”.
He expects that if this experiment is successful, then other companies will repeat it. This in turn will lead to a growth in occupancy rates and hotels will recover revenues.
Nadia Shalabi, head of Tobia for Tourism Investment in Taba, said that hotel rates in the region are very affordable for Egyptians, with prices ranging between EGP 200-400 per person per night including breakfast and dinner which encourages domestic tourism.
She added that the biggest obstacle facing Egyptians coming to the region is the lack of regular transportation compared with other touristic regions such as Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab and Hurghada that have air and road transportation links.