Like most other countries throughout the world, Egypt was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps even more so, as the country’s Red Sea resorts have made it among the most popular global holiday destinations.
International traffic dropped dramatically, and the government was forced to take far-reaching measures to keep the tourism industry on its feet. But things are looking up for Egypt, as measures both domestically and internationally are being taken to have the country be among the first to return to pre-pandemic flight levels.
New investments in Cairo and Sphinx International Airport
As reported by Albawaba, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia governments have both shown interest in investing in Cairo and Sphinx International Airport. These multi-million dollar investments aim to expand cargo and logistical operations at both airports.
Additionally, the Egyptian government aims to expand the Sphinx airport in Giza to receive 900 passengers per hour. Currently, this is 300 passengers per hour. Even though the country still has numerous COVID-19 cases, the Egyptian government feels this is the right time to invest heavily in its airports.
The military airport of Al Bardawil in North Sinai is set to open for civil flights, allowing Egypt to manage the suspected influx of tourists post-pandemic better. Following a 1-week cancellation of all incoming flights, air traffic between Saudi Arabia and Egypt is picking up again.
Egypt aims to run a minimum of 61 flights headed to Saudi Arabia on Friday. Traffic between Kuwait and Egypt has likewise resumed, and the latest reports state that Egyptians will be allowed to travel to Qatar.
International tourist numbers to Egypt rising.
Egypt was among the first countries in the world to steadily open its borders to international visitors. This mostly concerned tourists headed to the resorts in the Red Sea and South Sinai areas.
In light of the suffering tourism sector, the government initiated a campaign certifying that hotels and resorts are adhering to government-issued pandemic guidelines. This appears to have had a noticeable impact.
Hurghada International Airport saw the highest number of incoming international flights since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Likewise, the airport of Sharm El-Sheikh welcomed over one million tourists since July this year.
The Egyptian government is also planning an ambitious 3-year international tourism promotion campaign. The goal of this campaign is to lay the foundations for Egypt’s successful return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers.
Uncertainties regarding visa rules
There are reports that Egypt is considering removing the visa requirement altogether in yet another effort to bring tourists to the country. Currently, it is possible to travel to the Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba resorts without a visa for a stay of up to 15 days. However, Egypt has not yet implemented a country-wide cancellation of the visa.
This is likely because visas are an important source of income for Egypt, and abolishing it even temporarily would be a great financial setback.
Egypt’s digital visa system is among the reasons it is so popular with international tourists. Rather than visit the embassy, the visa can be applied for online, saving both time and money compared to other countries’ visa systems.
This article is sponsored by e-visa.co.uk