Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Open For Business: New Hope in Egypt Inspires Travel Industry
Goway Travel shares the optimism of a renewed Egypt.
With a newly elected president and a new spirit of hope, Egypt is rejuvenated nation, ready and eager to welcome visitors.
Tourism, an industry that employs 12% of Egyptians has been devastated by three years of revolutions. Hotel and tour occupancy rates have hovered at a paltry 15%. Travel agencies specialising in adventure destinations have continued to sell the country, but few have seen much demand.
Protests however, fell dramatically in the lead-up to May’s election, and there have been some positive effects for those still willing to make the trip. Visitors have enjoyed an unusually crowd-free Egypt through much of 2014. Attractions such as the Giza Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings have regained a majesty unspoiled by the typical sea of tour buses and snapping cameras.
It’s uncertain how long these conditions will last. Egypt’s president-elect Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi does not understate the work required to rebuild traveller confidence in the country. He appears to be off to a solid start however, with 97 percent of the vote won in what was hailed internationally as a fair and free election. Visitors to Egypt will be surrounded by his image on posters, t-shirts and even chocolate wrappers. El-Sissi has also received support from UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, along with US and UK leaders.
Goway Travel is one company echoing this optimism, and is eager to welcome guests back to one of its most popular destinations. Many of its classic Egypt tours include Cairo, the Giza Necropolis, and a journey into Upper Egypt including the Luxor and Karnak Temples. Goway also sells extensions to Abu Simbel to see the temples of Ramesses II and Nefertari. The company also sends clients to Egypt’s numerousRed Sea resort towns, along with Alexandria, ancient home of the famed Royal Library, survived today by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Another ancient tradition to have made a comeback is the Dahabiya, a traditional Nile river boat that embodies the romance of ancient Egypt. With a small compliment of only 6-8 cabins, these luxurious vessels are often dubbed ‘seven stars on the Nile.’ The country can also be done on a tighter budget, with 9-day classic itineraries starting at just under $1400.
Egypt has been a safe and stable destination for most of 2014, and looks set to remain so for the foreseeable future. The trick for many Globetrotters will be getting there before the word gets out and crowds return.
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