Egypt is preparing to start offering direct flights to New Delhi beginning January 2014 in a bid to encourage tourism activities between India and Egypt, tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said, as quoted in Zawya.
Zaazou confirmed that Egyptian tourism sector is currently facing difficulties. “The travel ban imposed on Egypt (by several countries have resulted to) a 95% drop in number of tourists this September compared to September 2011.”
Total tourist arrivals in the fiscal year 2011/2012 were significantly lower at 11 million, compared to13.7 mn in the 2009/2010 fiscal year, according to Central Bank of Egypt data. “Getting 90% of the tourism activity back is directly linked to lifting travel advisories, which 19 or 20 countries have done recently,” said the tourism minister.
That, in addition to security, political stability, lifting of the state of emergency in Cairo and encouraging tourists flow from neighbouring countries, will contribute to bringing back 90% of the tourists Egypt had lost. About 14.7 mn tourists visited Egypt in 2010. The minister expects the numbers to gradually reach those levels by February, as political stability and security gradually sets in.
Zaazou added that similar to last summer, new offers such as 50% discounts on airline tickets, will be issued again this summer as part of an action plan to encourage internal tourism.