Lonely pyramids no more

Blue skies again for Egypt's tourism; tourists riding towards the Great Pyramid of Khufu and Pyramid of Khafre on camelback, Cairo, Egypt

As Egypt’s tourism sector picks up in the wake of recent revolutions, inbound players are reaching out to Asia in hopes that tourism arrivals will bounce back to its heyday numbers.

“The volume of tourism in the last two years has come back up very quickly. We expect this year’s numbers to be comparable to those 10 years ago,” said Ahmed Abdul Mounem, tourism manager, Castle Tours.

Blue skies again for Egypt’s tourism; tourists riding towards the Great Pyramid of Khufu and Pyramid of Khafre on camelback, Cairo, Egypt

He projects international tourist arrivals to Egypt to rise next year, as airlines from Russia, Germany and other countries relaunched services to the destination.

“In the last five years during the revolution, Asia was the only market that supported Egypt and sent tourists to us. These were Singaporeans and Malaysians, and China was the top source market,” observed Ahmed.

This enduring interest in Egypt is owed to the North African country’s history and legacy. Sabrina Zhao, operations, Unlimited Egypt Travel, explained: “To the Chinese, Egypt is still a mystical and exotic destination, owing to its ancient history and portrayal in movies like Death on the Nile.”

However, Chinese travel preferences have evolved over the years. Zhao shared: “Most travellers first come to Egypt to see the pyramids, but more Chinese are now interested in in-depth discoveries like wading or even fishing in the Red Sea.”

Ahmed added that luxury self-drive tours in the oases and deserts are gaining in popularity among his Chinese clients.

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