Egypt promotes yacht tourism after dip from COVID-pandemic

Egypt is growing methods to advertise yacht tourism, hoping it brings massive financial returns to the state. At a Cabinet assembly in Cairo on Aug. 5, the ministers of tourism and transport mentioned methods to develop the sort of tourism upon directives from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to formulate a strategic plan to maximise yacht tourism by the tip of this month. Once the plan is totally devised, it is going to be offered to Sisi for approval.

During the assembly, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Anany stated Egypt has greater than 2,400 kilometers of shoreline and picturesque seashores and distinct vacationer resorts positioned in shut proximity to well-known historic touristic cities. Egypt enjoys a temperate local weather all yr, so it permits this tourism all year long and disembarking overseas yachts in the course of the winter interval.

Anany stated the financial significance of yacht tourism are revenues from transit and berthing charges, taxes, gasoline and upkeep.

The move comes at a time when Egypt — like different nations all through the world — has seen a sharp drop in tourism because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, income from the tourism sector dropped 70%, with a complete of three.5 million guests, in contrast with over 13 million in 2019.

Yet Cairo is hoping 2021 will see some vital restoration. With international vaccination efforts selecting up and Russian flights as soon as once more returning to Red Sea resort airports after a six-year hiatus, Egypt is getting ready for an inflow of vacationers

Time journal in July named Cairo one of many “World’s Greatest Places” of 2021. It chosen Cairo for its “new vantages on unique treasures” and its potential to revitalize the tourism trade by various thrilling initiatives, such because the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is able to grow to be the most important archaeological museum on the planet showcasing greater than 100,000 historic artifacts. Other forthcoming initiatives embody the Ahl Misr Walkway, which is a pedestrian-friendly outside area alongside the Nile Corniche, and the Cairo Eye, which is anticipated to grow to be the most important commentary wheel in Africa by 2022.

Amid COVID-19, Egypt has taken various procedures to make sure security and effectivity to encourage tourism. The on-line digital visa portal for vacationers facilitates getting visas on-line. Other measures embody a vaccination marketing campaign that has efficiently vaccinated all employees in key resorts and accommodations within the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates.

The Egyptian authorities agreed within the Aug. 5 assembly to set strategic major axes, which embody getting ready a unified value coverage to supply incentives and enticing reductions for ships and yachts; elevating the effectivity of present vacationer ports; establishing marinas for yachts in websites that get pleasure from vacationer sights; getting ready a advertising and marketing plan for promotion and energetic participation in tourism conferences, boards and worldwide exhibitions; and launching an digital portal to facilitate procedures, the issuance of permits and unified payments for yacht tourism-related our bodies.

On Aug. 14, Egypt inaugurated the first marine gasoline station on the Mediterranean shore to serve boats and yachts passing by the Matrouh governorate as a part of the state’s efforts to revitalize this rising kind of tourism globally.

Captain Yasser El Mosalamy, president of the American Maritime Academy, hails the state’s need to advertise yacht tourism, saying it should assist present many job alternatives, particularly within the travel and repair sectors, along with rising the nationwide earnings.

“Before the recent decision to promote yacht tourism, Egypt was focusing only on traditional tourism by attracting foreigners to visit its tourist sites and do diving activities, for example. But yacht tourism is totally different. It means that we will attract international tourism, which the state will depend on in increasing the national income,” Mosalamy instructed Al-Monitor.

“All countries are changing around us, the nearest of which is Saudi Arabia, which is encouraging foreign-flag yachts to visit the country. So it is time for Egypt to benefit from yacht tourism,” Mosalamy stated.

Mosalamy added that Egyptian cities overlooking the Mediterranean, corresponding to Marsa Matrouh, Alexandria, El Alamein, Damietta and Port Said, will profit from yacht tourism as the most important proportion of yacht visitors comes by the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea cities are available in second place because of the crossing from the Suez Canal and the charges.

In 2016, the State Information Service reported that Egypt was focused on encouraging yacht tourism and establishing specialised ports on its shores, corresponding to Marina Naama, the primary yacht marina in Naama Bay in Sharm el-Sheikh, which was constructed with the most recent strategies. Technological and tourism consultants thought of this mission an necessary step within the growth of yachting tourism.

In the Red Sea governorate, the Hurghada Marina is positioned on an space of 60,000 sq. meters and contains all facilities wanted for protected yacht mooring.

In the Gulf of Aqaba, the Taba Heights Marina gives protected berths and upkeep service together with all facilities. The Taba Heights Marina has a water space of 11,500 sq. meters and a depth starting from 2.5 to three meters.

Mosalamy stated that after the important infrastructure adjustments are full, promotional campaigns can be launched worldwide to ask vacationers to carry their yachts to the nation’s renovated coasts.

“I think Egypt will implement this soon because the country is already witnessing a complete development in all sectors. So the yacht tourism development will be carried out in the same success and in a speedy way, like other mega projects,” he stated.

Alaa Khalifa, a world tourism advertising and marketing professional, instructed Al-Monitor, “When we succeed in developing yacht tourism, the state will receive three times more than it gains from domestic tourism.”

He identified that yacht tourism is flourishing within the Mediterranean area, and lots of nations are depending on such rich vacationers.

“There are 30,000 yachts roaming the Mediterranean. Spain, Italy and France are top countries in this kind of tourism,” Khalifa stated.

Khalifa stated Egypt misplaced enormous earnings over previous durations because of the exaggeration of the charges for yachts mooring in Egypt, the charges for crossing the Suez Canal, and making use of charges twice for a yacht when it strikes from one marina to a different inside Egyptian waters. This, he added, causes yacht house owners to move to different close by nations corresponding to Lebanon, Israel and Turkey due to their yacht mooring vacationer services.

“So it is necessary that all concerned people and bodies work hard in facilitating and developing such an important kind of tourism,” he added.

Khalifa added that listening to yacht tourism will increase Arab and Gulf tourism in Red Sea cities corresponding to Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam, that are near the Gulf nations.

“This requires making well-equipped berths to accommodate the expected movement,” he famous.

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