Both Egyptian officials and tour operators are hoping to attract visitors back to Egypt, in a bid to restart the country’s holiday industry.
Officials aim to tempt holidaymakers back to the popular destination by showing Egypt is stable and welcoming to travellers looking for a relaxing break.
Foreign visitors to Cairo have dropped by 80 per cent since 2010, due to the political change earlier this year. According to the Egyptian government, 211,000 holiday makers visited in February, compared to 1.1 million the year before.
However, figures released by the Egyptian Tourist Authority show visitor numbers have since increased through March and April to half the level of last year, indicating holidaymakers have already found reasons to return to Egypt.
Amr El-Ezabi of the Egyptian Tourist Authority reports a slow but steady revival: “Even us, we were surprised because beginning the 19th of February we had the first groups coming back. To the Red Sea first, and then to Luxor, and then to Cairo and then the rest of the country.”
The first post-revolution parliamentary and presidential elections have been scheduled for autumn, coinciding with the height of Egypt’s holiday season. Convincing people to visit during a time of potential unrest may be difficult, but Mr El-Ezabi cautiously promoted it.
“I think you can still easily do your normal visit and still have an added value to be present in Egypt during its first democratic election ever taking place in the last 50 or 60 years,” he said.
Currently Egypt is relatively quiet, meaning it could be a good time for visitors to take advantage of small crowds and short queues in shops. The canny tourist may also find opportunities for travel upgrades.