Industry heavyweights the World Travel & Tourism Council and the World Tourism Organisation have added their voices to calls on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh. In a letter to UK prime minister Theresa May, WTTC president David Scowsill and UNWTO general secretary Taleb Rifai stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort as the current travel advisory is having devastating effects on the country’s economy and social stability.
Travellers interested in ancient Egypt or Nile cruises can now fly directly to Luxor following news that Egyptair has launched direct weekly flights between Heathrow and Luxor. The five hour and twenty minute flight leaves London Heathrow at 17:00 and arrives in Luxor at 23.20.
Following a recent trip to Sharm el-Sheikh, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Egypt has urged the British government to take a swift decision on lifting the ban on flights to Sharm el-Sheikh. Gerald Howarth also said, in a recent TV interview, that a representative of the department for transport “felt that the conditions had been met to enable flights to resume”.
A new ferry service between the Egyptian resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh has launched. The service can carry 300 passengers and will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The crossing takes around two hours and is currently priced at 630 Egyptian pounds for an adult return journey – around £50.
Egyptian minister of tourism, Yehia Rashed, has welcomed an announcement that the German government will lift their luggage restrictions to Sharm el Sheikh. In a statement he said: “This is wonderful news for German tourists and for Egyptian tourism. “This will enable even more German tourists to visit our country and will be very welcome news for Sharm el Sheikh.”
At the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2016 held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Phil Blizzard had the opportunity to conduct a video interview with Mohamed Yehia Rashed, the new minister of tourism for the Republic of Egypt. These are the key aspects from that interview which started with a statement from the minister on their key message in terms of growing the tourism industry.
HE Mohamed Yehia Rashed, Minister Tourism, Arab Republic of Egypt speaks to Breaking Travel News at AHIC 2016.
Haitham Nasser, board member, Egyptian Tourism Federation, talks to Breaking Travel News about the importance of attending Arabian Travel Market, the return of Egyptian tourism to the global market, and the importance of the private sector in the success of the destination.
The new Egyptian minister of tourism, Yehia Rashed, has announced his plan - the ‘6x6 Tourism Impact Plan’ - to fundamentally enhance Egyptian tourism and to revive the fortunes of the critical tourism sector. Egyptian tourism has been in the doldrums following a series of terrorist attacks in the country and wider unrest across the Middle East and North Africa in recent months.
Thomas Cook has cancelled all departures to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh until at least October 31st. The tour operator had previously said the security situation in the Red Sea resort would see all holidays cancelled or postponed until May 25th. However, with no change to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice with regards to travel to Sharm el Sheikh airport, Thomas Cook took the decision to extend the black out.
UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, has expressed the organisations’ full confidence in the recovery of tourism in Egypt during a recent visit to the country. On the occasion, Rifai met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in the presence of the Egyptian minister of tourism, Hisham Zaazou. The resident reiterated his full support to the tourism sector and its utmost determination in ensuring that Egypt is a safe, attractive and leading tourism destination saying “if tourism recovers, Egypt will recover”.
Egyptian security forces have shot two armed attackers following an assault on a hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Three foreign tourists, two Austrians and a Swede, were stabbed during the incident.