Egypt pushes alternative Red Sea for Brits

by Laura Gelder

Visitor figures are finally on the way up for Egypt but the tourist office is pushing agents to sell Red Sea resorts Hurghada and Marsa Alam instead of Sharm El Sheikh after failing to persuade the UK government to remove its flying restrictions to the latter.

During a press conference at WTM the Egyptian ambassador of the UK, Nasser Kamel, challenged the UK government’s decision to ban flights to Sharm El Sheikh airport when other countries, including Germany, have resumed services after a security upgrade at the airport costing more than $30 million.

Overall visitor figures to Egypt rose by 53% during the first nine months of 2017 compared to last year, but the UK market is not growing as fast as Germany.

Egyptian State Tourist Office Director for the UK, Ireland and Nordic region, Amr El Elazbi said: “We were striking our heads against a wall but now we need to look outside the box. Hurghada and Marsa Alam have everything that Sharm El Sheikh offers – great resorts, beautiful beaches, a rich desert and accessible coral reefs.”

The Egyptian State Tourist Office will launch a new marketing campaign in January while Thomas Cook will host a fam trip to Marsa Alam in 2018, taking 150 agents.

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