News: Tourism 'key' to Egyptian boom

Mon, 24 Sep 07

June 2007 was an incredibly important month in the Egyptian calendar because it was the month that saw the Egyptian economy annual growth rate hit 7.1% for the previous fiscal year which represents the fastest annual growth rate for the African nation in five years...

June was also the month when Zuhair Garrana, the Minister of Tourism in Egypt announced that his government understands that tourism development is the key to the ongoing and future success of his nation’s economy, and that the Egyptian government is therefore wholly committed to doing everything it can to continue to attract international investor commitment and tourism expansion.

In a powerful statement issued before the Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Friendship Association that met in June to discuss the future of tourism in Egypt with specific focus on cooperation with Arab countries, the Minister of Tourism in Egypt also touched upon the country’s comprehensive plan to increase tourism numbers to 14 million visitors by 2011.

Healthy economic growth

The ‘2011 Plan’ in Egypt is already well underway and the Minister of Tourism was able to demonstrate that not only is the nation on track to meet its tourism targets, but that already healthy and sustained economic growth was being enjoyed off the back of the major developments in tourism being undertaken.

Private and public investment is being poured into everything from the creation of mega residential and tourism resorts in the most sought after locations in Egypt such as on the Red and Mediterranean Seas as well as in the mountains - to the provision of Wi-Fi points under a massive USAID sponsored project called "While in Egypt Stay Connected," in Sharm el-Sheikh and Luxor for example.

This sustained investment is starting to reap returns and pay dividends in the form of increasing tourism numbers arriving and spending increased amounts of money in Egypt. 

This fact alone is why Egypt is now luring in droves of property investors because there are currently nowhere near enough tourism beds to accommodate the rising visitor numbers and what’s more, the government is making it ever more attractive for international investors to enter the Egyptian property market and profit both in the form of capital appreciation and rental income potential.

Committed to development

In 2006 alone 9.81 million tourists added 7.6 billion US dollars to the Egyptian economy and today, as it stands the tourism sector accounts for a fifth of the nation’s hard currency earnings meaning that it is a key industry and one the government and people of Egypt are committed to developing and promoting – this gives property investors and second home buyers complete confidence in their choice of Egypt as a location for their investment.

In 2006, 89 million hotel room nights were sold to international visitors and according to the government’s figures each visitor stayed an average of 9.83 nights and spent 85 US dollars per night.  As part of their plan to increase tourism numbers the government is working with the private sector to increase hotel bed capacity to 240,000 rooms from the current figure of 175,000 so that the nation can physically accommodate the sharp increases in tourism traffic that it is enjoying. 

In addition to this – Egypt is promoting and assisting with the development of resorts across the nation in which private buyers and investors are purchasing real estate for their own enjoyment or to let out to international tourists.

Embracing international travellers

Every member of Egyptian society is being called upon by the government to embrace international travelers because for every one million visitor arrivals it is estimated that 200,000 jobs are created directly and indirectly off the back of travel and tourism. 

This is why every avenue – from the creation of hotel beds to the promotion of Egypt as a great place to invest in jet to let property or to buy a second home – is being explored, because it is the volume of tourism traffic through the nation that creates sustainable employment and a continuing buoyant economy.

Currently the vast majority of visitors who are enjoying the inimitable delights of Egypt – from the fascinating pyramids to the stunning Mediterranean coastline for example – are coming from Britain, followed by tourist arrivals from Russia and Europe who together make up a total of 67% of all arrivals at the moment. 

Hurghada ‘transformed’

One of the most popular destinations by far is Hurghada which is also why this beautiful Red Sea destination is enjoying considerable investment into the development of its amenities, facilities and key infrastructure. Hurghada was once a sleepy fishing village but today it has been transformed into one of the foremost resorts on the Red Sea. 

It is a year round sunshine and leisure resort where one can enjoy activities such as diving, desert safaris, and golf and it even now has its own international airport making it a key location for both property investors and those seeking the ultimate dream home in the sun.

Speaking about the transformation of Hurghada into one of the most sought after tourism, investment and second home locations in Egypt, Tahir Ali the Managing Director of Egypt Revealed the specialist Egyptian real estate investment company said recently, “Hurghada is the one resort in Egypt that ticks every single box for both investors and holiday home hunters. 

Investors seeking maximum rental potential choose Hurghada because it is a year round resort; investors seeking capital growth choose Hurghada because of the amount of investment going into the enhancement and promotion of the resort; second home hunters choose Hurghada because it is currently affordable, it is accessible, it has more on offer than any Spanish resort for example and it has guaranteed 365 days of sun a year!  Who wouldn’t choose Hurghada?”

For more information, please visit www.egypt-revealed.com


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