Can Egypt’s tourist industry ride out the conflict in Gaza?

Can Egypt’s tourist industry ride out the conflict in Gaza?

According to Egypt’s tourism chief Ahmed Issa, who spoke recently to Bloomberg, the answer is yes, as the industry takes steps to offset the impact of the Israel-Hamas war. Egyptian authorities are looking to ways to boost accommodation options while also discounting budget flights. While it maybe too early to tell the signs are worrying for Egypt as well as neighboring Jordan & Lebanon. A recent report by Dubai- and Beirut-based financial consultancy Nasser Saidi & Associates noted that since early October ticket purchases for Egypt had fallen 26%, for Jordan by 49% and for Lebanon by 74% compared to the same period last year.

Tourism is a key source of foreign currency for Egypt, and according to Reuters had been on track to bring in over $13 billion this year and hit a target of 15 million visitors. For the Egyptian economy there is also a potential knock-on crisis as tourism is a major source of income for workers connected to it from a distance such as taxi drivers, hotel workers, guides, supermarkets, diving centers and amusement parks.

Egypt is relying on High-spending visitors, and it is not just Europeans who aren’t traveling, some resorts in Sharm el-Sheikh depend on visitors from Israel too. Issa went on to add that Egypt was offering an extra $500 of incentives per flight landing in Sharm el-Sheikh, because this is where customers were asking "the largest number of questions", and working very closely with wholesalers, retailers, and airliners to keep them committed to Egypt.

Right now, it seems the slowdown is only just starting, possibly because those travelers who couldn't get a refund still went ahead as planned. The problem will become more apparent as future reservations are tallied, travel agents and tour operators said, adding that these have already fallen over the past two months.

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