The Chamber of Tourism Companies and Agencies signed a protocol of cooperation with the Kuwaiti Ministry of Tourism to organise joint tour packages at promotional prices, to increase the tourist influx between both countries, according to a statement issued by the chamber.
The protocol aims to encourage the exchange of tourism between the two countries’ legislation and encourages quality of monitoring systems in the hotels sector as well.
The protocol is in favour of inter-Arab tourism growth. Egypt will be the greatest beneficiary as Cairo is a tourism centre to attract visits from the Kuwaiti people, head of Arab tourism at the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism Nasser Turk said.
The chosen destinations of tourists from the Gulf have changed over the past 10 years, of which the chamber was aware when they signed the protocol in the wake of tourist developments in Egypt in the past five years, Turk said.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the Arab influx to Egypt amounted to 20% of incoming tourists before 25 January 2011, however this has declined to less than 15% in the past five years.
Chairman of the Egypt Tourism Authority Samy Mahmoud said increasing the flow of Arabs to Egypt is one of its priorities during the current period. Arab tourists are important visitors to Cairo.
The Arab influx to Egypt is mainly from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates and, as such, they are considered as the most important countries of the Gulf region.
There will be an intensified promotion in these countries during the coming period, according to Mahmoud.
The Ministry of Tourism reported that the promotional programmes for Arab tourism last summer pushed the influx up by more than 20%.
The holy month of Ramadan will come at the beginning of the summer tourism season. The summer holidays is a great opportunity for the growth of Arab tourism in Egypt throughout the months of July, August, and September, Turk added
Former chairman of the Chamber of Hotels Wassim Mohy El-Din said Arab tourism has grown significantly over the past year in Cairo and Alexandria
The Arab influx from the Gulf to Alexandria will increase this summer, Mohy El-Din said.
Occupancy rates increase significantly in the summer months owing to Egyptian families visiting Alexandria as well as a good ratio from the Arab market visiting Alexandria, he added.
The total hotel capacity in Cairo is about 30,000 hotel rooms, while Alexandria has about a 3,000 room capacity, according to hotels chamber.
Hussein Shoukry, general manager of Safir Hotel, said that Arab tourism represents more than 70% of hotel occupancy, especially for Arab families and businessmen.
Shoukry said he expects an increase of Arab tourists to Egypt during the coming summer months, especially since the holy month of Ramadan comes at the beginning of the summer, which will provide a great opportunity for Arab families to visit Cairo.