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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Hilton plans expansion into Egypt thanks to upswing in tourism and devaluation

Hilton plans expansion into Egypt thanks to upswing in tourism and the EGP float: Hilton plans to expand its number of managed hotels in Egypt to 30 from a current 17 over the next seven to ten years, vice president of MENA operations Mohab Ghali told Reuters in an interview yesterday. “If things remain stable, within the next six months, in the 2018 winter season, we can see pre-2011 numbers returning, with more revenues now because of the devaluation,” Ghali added. The float of the EGP had also helped a revival in occupancy rates, particularly in Hurghada and Marsa Alam, he said. Ghali had said last month that Hilton will open its first hotel under its new contract to manage seven establishments at the end of 2018. Four of these hotels will be in Cairo with the rest in Ain Sokhna, Damietta, and the new capital. The company is also planning to expand into Morocco and Tunisia.

The Hilton’s baseline assertions are backed by recent tourist arrival figures, as Egypt reportedly received 532k visitors in June alone,Italy’s ANSAmed reports. The increase in arrivals was likely driven by the Egyptian Tourism Authority’s subsidy program, which offers affordable charter flights that make it easier for tourists to fly in, especially Italians, of whom we have lately seen an influx. Air Cairo will be launching a Milan route soon, the story adds.

Emirates Airline will also be adding four new flights a week to its Cairo roster starting 29 October, The National reports. “We will continue to invest in Egypt, empowering the local economy and helping it expand its business and tourism presence,” Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ senior VP of commercial operations for Africa. The new flights mean that Emirates will fly to Cairo three times a day.

Also on the tourism front: Saudi’s plan to build resorts on 50 virgin islands in the Red Sea doesn’t have Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed concerned, according to ANSAmed. The minister says the plan will benefit the region and won’t necessarily compete with Egypt’s tourism offerings.

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