Sudan pledges to investigate killing of 2 protestors during peaceful sit-in    Grand Egyptian Museum finishes installing Tutankhamun's 3rd shrine    Egypt discovers several ancient tombs in Sohag's Al-Hamdiya necropolis    Egypt signs new gold exploration contract worth $5.2m    Development cooperation portfolio in Egypt's supply sector records $128.8m: Al-Mashat    Egypt scales up readiness of hospitals nationwide for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    BSH International reviews expansion strategy in Egyptian market    Arab League calls for ICC investigation into Israeli war crimes in Palestine    UN Security Council shirks responsibilities towards Palestine: Egypt's Shoukry    Israel continues targeting Gaza, Palestinian resistance responds with missiles    Egyptian hospitals in Sinai on alert amid Israeli aggression on Gaza    Egypt announces Thursday 1st day of Eid Al-Fitr    Nuweiba: Egypt's paradise of serenity    Global economic recovery to improve debt service coverage ratios: Moody's    Egypt's current account deficit jumps to $7.6 bln in 1H of FY2020/21: CBE    Egypt's trade deficit down 1.2% to $3.34bn in February 2021: CAPMAS    Egypt raises readiness at university hospitals for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egypt's Parliament discusses abolishing imprisonment for female debtors    India signs an agreement to buy 300,000 doses of Remdesivir from Eva Pharma    Egypt will locally manufacture first 2m Sinovac vaccine doses by June-end    2021 South East European Film Festival celebrates cinematic diversity of 18 countries    Turkey seeks to restore 'historic unity' with Egyptian people: Erdogan    Elneny's Arsenal targets 'remontada' in Europa League semi-finals    Zamalek eye return to victories at expense of Smouha in Egyptian Premier League    Al Ahly face injuries as they take on Al Ittihad Alexandria    Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from France    Direct flights between Russia and Egypt will resume in June, Ambassador    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Blinken presses Ethiopia's Abiy to ensure full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray    Forces opposed to Somali president control parts of Mogadishu    Nine people executed in Egypt over Kerdasa police killings in 2013    UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic's alleged ties to betting company    61 doctors died from coronavirus since start of April: Egypt's medical syndicate    Egypt targets 5.6% inflation rate in FY2020/21, 6% in FY2021/22    Egypt allocates EGP 132 bln to modernise railway system: Transport minister    Real Madrid not thinking about any Super League sanctions: Zidane    Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after attacks    All the winners at the 93rd Academy Awards    Egypt's Ahly granted approval to build new stadium on Cairo outskirts    Aswan Int'l Women's Film Festival dedicates 5th edition to Kawthar Heikal    BREAKING: Egypt's information minister Osama Heikal resigns amid parliamentary criticism    'War was not Egypt's aim, but peace was the ultimate goal,' Sisi says on Sinai Liberation Day anniversary    Factbox: Key nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Opportune time for archaeotourism
Published in Ahram Online on 13 - 04 - 2021

Despite the preventive measures restricting the movement of tourists around the world owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, many tourism experts believe there is now a golden opportunity for Egypt's archaeological tourism to regain its allure.
According to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany, Egypt's tourism revenues dropped to $4 billion in 2020, down from $13 billion a year earlier.
But Egypt has the opportunity to reinvigorate the tourism sector, despite the coronavirus, especially after the magnificent events of the Pharaohs' Golden Parade and the discovery of the Lost Golden City near Luxor, said Radwa Al-Swaify, head of research at Pharos Holding, an investment firm. Archaeological tourism draws in more revenues than beach tourism, which was hard hit due to the pandemic last year.
On 3 April, Egypt held an awe-inspiring parade that made international headlines to transfer 22 royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in Egypt's first Islamic capital of Fustat.
Al-Swaify expects tourism revenues to reach $7 billion in 2021, saying that the tourism sector will recover in October, by which time the effects of the worldwide roll-out of coronavirus vaccines will be felt.
The recent archaeological discoveries are the excellent promotion Egypt needs to attract travellers that spend more than 150 euros a night, as opposed to beach vacationers that spend on average $60 a night, said Mohamed Othman, head of the Cultural Tourism Committee, a body that comprises more than 100 hotels in Luxor and Aswan.
Othman said that revenues from cultural tourism are not limited to tickets bought to visit temples, but also include night stays in fixed and floating hotels.
There are 130 floating hotels based in Luxor and Aswan along the River Nile that have some 3,000 rooms among them. There are also 120 dahabiya boats styled after 19th-century boats and built in colonial style. "A night in a floating hotel costs 200 euros and maybe double in busy seasons," said Othman, adding that there was a need for more investment in hotel establishments, especially in the five-star category.
Markets exporting cultural tourists are concentrated in Western Europe, Northern America, a few countries in Southern America, and East and South Asia, said Elhami Al-Zayat, former head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Tourism.
The spending of tourists from Japan, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong exceeds $1,800 a week, while the average spending of tourists from Western Europe comes in second at $1,300 a week, with tourists from China and India at $900, he added.
These rates can be increased six-fold if cultural tourism is linked with conference tourism that caters for leading companies, Al-Zayat said, explaining that the latter kind of tourism tailors itineraries ranging from seven to 14 days.
Travellers from East and South Asia have not exceeded the million mark, said Nasser Abdel-Aal, former advisor to the minister of tourism for East and South Asia affairs, adding that following President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi's visit to that region before the outbreak of the coronavirus Egypt had received increasing numbers of tourists from these areas.
In 2018, Egypt received more than 500,000 tourists from China, Abdel-Aal said.
Cultural tourism comprises 20 per cent of Egypt's touristic activities, while 80 per cent of the country's travellers target beach and safari destinations, said former tourism minister Hisham Zazou, adding that Egypt has all it takes to attract vacationers interested in archaeological tourism.
The pristine waters of the Red Sea have been stealing the hearts of travellers over the past two decades, "but Egypt's archaeological attractions are no less enchanting and can lure high-spending tourists," Zazou concluded.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 15 April, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Clic here to read the story from its source.