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Monday, 23 April 2018

Egypt planning to launch tender for development of touristic projects along its coastlines

Tourism Minister Mashat tells Bloomberg that Egypt is set to drive development of tourism projects along coastlines: Egypt will be offering international investors the opportunity to develop sustainable cities along the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts, Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat told Bloomberg in an interview (watch, runtime: 5:25). The Tourism Development Authority has selected “previously untapped” locations around the country to establish “a very high-end type of project to bring in high-end tourists,” she tells the National, adding that the tenders will be announced once the list and plan were finalized. Al Mashat said that these sustainable cities, such as the New Alamein City that’s currently under development, are expected to help drive tourist traffic by adding to the number of places to visit in Egypt.

The cities are part of a larger plan to reform the tourism sector, which also includes structural and legislative amendments. Al Mashat said that the laws governing the industry have not been changed since the 1970s, including those on hotel building, she said without elaborating. A central component of the reform agenda is also a plan to launch a nationwide, “mega-scale” training program for staff and employees, according to the minister. Al Mashat had previously said that the ministry would also rework parts of its charter flight incentive programs to encourage more airlines to join. “We are trying to develop Egypt into a destination that has dynamism, diversity…building on the very strong momentum we saw in 2017,” she said, adding that she expects more than 8 mn tourists to visit the country in 2018.

That wish may very well come true as Thomas Cook says it has sold 89% more holidays packages to Egypt so far this year compared to 2017. 51% of the bookings are for families, according to the Thomas Cook Holiday Report 2018, which was carried by the Independent.

More hotel chains set eyes on Egypt: Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) signed contracts to build two new hotels in Giza, Hotel News reports. The Holiday Inn Giza Sun Capital and Staybridge Suites Giza Sun Capital are both scheduled to open in 2023 and make IHG the latest international hotelier to announce plans to expand in Egypt. Marriott, Hilton, and TIME Hotels have all previously announced their plans to add new hotel rooms in Egypt. The contracts were signed at the Dubai ATM 2018 travel expo, where Al Mashat has been meeting with tour operators, travel agents and airlines in bid to market the Egyptian tourism market in the GCC, according to Reuters.

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