An increase in Arab tourism is expected over the upcoming months after the Eid holiday next week, with increases in bookings from Arab countries, according to workers in tourism.
They said that this week, Saudi Arabia has topped the countries booking for the week following Eid. Saudi Arabia is followed by the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.
They expected an increase in Arab tourists so that the total number would be up to 2.8 million, compared to 2.5 million last year.
Hussein Shoukry, the director of Safir hotel in Cairo, said that hotels of central Cairo will be the ones most attractive for Arab tourism over the upcoming months.
He expected occupancy in Cairo hotels to increase to more than 75% with the flow of Arab families.
The hotel capacity in Cairo is 30,000 rooms, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Hotels, with most of these hotels being in central Cairo, overlooking the Nile.
For his part, a director of a hotel in Ain Sokhna said that there is growth in the Arab flow to hotels during the recent months by young people who want to relax on beaches.
He added that prices have increased by more than 50% over the recent period because of the increase of operation costs, including food, salaries and wages, and energy, where the average price of a room per night per person is estimated between EGP 2,500 to EGP 3,000.
Wassim Mohy El-Din, member of the Hotels Chamber in Alexandria, said that Alexandria will see the highest occupancy over the months of this summer.
He added that he expects 90% occupancy in some hotels despite the increase in prices to over 40% and 100% in some other hotels.
The capacity of hotels in Alexandria and the North Coast are estimated at 5,000 rooms, with the majority of them being in Alexandria.
Mohy El-Din added that Alexandria hotels are versatile unlike North Coast hotels. In Alexandria, there are several categories of three, four, and five stars, while in the North Coast, hotels start from four stars.
Mohy El-din believes that Alexandria attracts all Egyptian families, whether with high or low incomes, unlike the North Coast, which attracts only families with high incomes.
He believes that inbound tourism from Libya will have a good share of the occupancy over the upcoming months due to the close distance between it and Egypt.
“In addition to Arab tourism in the area, we expect an increase in tourism of conferences by foreign and Arab petroleum and pharmaceuticals companies which will refresh hotels significantly compared to winter,” he said.
The former chairperson of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhamy El Zayat, said that Arab tourism over the past year has represented 50% of inbound tourism in Egypt, were tourists reached 2.5 million.
El Zayat expected the arrival of large numbers by the end of this month to reach 2.8 million tourists with the improvement of indexes during the first quarter of this year, especially in Arab Gulf countries.
He pointed out that the flow from Saudi Arabia over last year has exceeded 500,000 tourists.
El Zayat explained that Arab tourism is different from European tourism in terms of being more repetitive. Moreover, the accommodation and spending rates of an Arab tourism are significantly higher than other tourists, where an Arab tourist spends more than $110 per night, compared to other tourists with an average spending of less than $70 per night.
Over the past decade, tourism has changed greatly, where a large number of young people from Arab countries visit Egypt to look for relaxation on beaches unlike families, according to El Zayat.