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EGYPT: Luring Diverse Visitors (Part 3)

Apart from promoting Egypt’s globally admired cultural and historical heritage, which has been a magnet for travellers for decades, as part of the common efforts to resurge the country’s former tourism status, industry players are branching out to alternative segments, aiming to inspire non-traditional visitors though diversified offerings.

Accordingly, CI’s report pointed out that the cities which cater to diverse markets are less prone to seasonal demand fluctuations, such as Alexandria, which enjoys the growth of the domestic corporate sector, now representing its key source market.

Confirming such a shift of focus, the Egyptian pavilion at the ATM concentrated on showcasing the variety of the destination’s tourism attractions responding to different travelling purposes including cultural, religious and medical.

Identifying the potential of medical and wellness tourism as an attractive niche, Helmy revealed that the property promotes related offerings as a part of its efforts to draw in more visitors.

He elucidated, “[…] The spa located inside the premises of the hotel focusses on prevention and rehabilitation.

The spa healthcare professionals are internationally accredited German physical therapists, sport therapists, massage therapists and remedial instructors with experience in the physical examinations and treatments of a wide range of physical functions and disabilities.”

Describing some positive developments in the business travel sector which has a lot to offer, Sabry shared, “Our business in Q1 was very good, we had a good mix of pharmaceutical companies meetings, as well as some leisure groups [and] our occupancy ranged for Q1 between 65 to 70 percent, which is a remarkable percentage being one of the largest hotels in Heliopolis with 427 rooms and suites.”

Expanding the portfolio of venues catering for the business guests, Mohieldin exemplified that the newly opened Steigenberger El Tahrir Hotel in Cairo and the legendary Steigenberger Cecil Hotel in Alexandria are both revolutionaries in the meetings, conferences and social events sector, maintaining high standards of service and quality in a vibrant environment.

With the upcoming Arab Club Championship tournaments set to kick-off in July and August in Alexandria, hoteliers will have an opportunity to take advantage of the influx of sport fans and teams while exploring the potential of sports tourism for the destination.

Helmy confirmed, “[…] Our hotel is considered a perfect hotel for teams and spectators as it is the closest to Borg El Arab stadium, only three kilometres away.”

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Sharing insight about what is being done to assist the sector’s growth going forward, Sabry revealed, “[…] We will definitely concentrate on promoting our rooms, suites, spa, meeting rooms and all our food and beverage outlets on the social media, which is the shortest way in the 21st century to promote a hotel.

We will leave promoting the whole destination to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism’s marketing arm which is Egyptian Tourism Authority […].”

On a similar note, Mohie also unveiled the company’s plans to attend international fairs targeting the MENA markets, along with reaching a wider audience though live sales calls, press advertising, social media, mobile and e-mail marketing campaigns.

Summarising Egypt’s hotels performance in Q1 and presenting the projected trends for the months to come, CI’s study identified a positive performance in Cairo, which had achieved occupancy levels above 70 percent during the period under review, said to be the highest since 2007.

The upward trajectory is expected to continue due to travellers’ rising confidence to return to the city on the back of the government’s efforts.

Furthermore, the study also forecasted favourable progress in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Alexandria for the year, as the travel bans are expected to be lifted and the cities are perceived as more affordable due to the Egyptian Pound’s devaluation.

Consequently, the research suggested that the aforementioned destinations are set to fuel the demand mainly from the leisure family segment originating from the GCC region and also internationally.

Based on the data and the recent promising developments, along with persistent common efforts of the industry’s stakeholders, Egypt’s tourism seems to be heading towards recovery.