Calm brings higher occupancy, revenue to Egypt's hotels

Jaz Belvedere in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo credit: Jaz Hotel Group (Jaz Belvedere)

According to Egyptian travel company Travco Group, hotel bookings in the country are on the rise again as tourists return after seven years of political turmoil and security concerns following 2011's Arab Spring and militant attacks.

Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2018 to $4.8 billion, while just over 5 million international visitors arrived—an increase of 41 percent.

Travco Group CEO Hamed El Chiaty told Reuters the company was able to raise rates on its hotels in Egypt (managed under its hospitality arm Jaz Hotel Group) by 30 percent to 35 percent at the beginning of this winter season, calling the number of bookings "promising.” Chiaty also said these increases were the highest in seven years, rising to pre-2011 levels. At the same time, occupancy levels at the group’s hotels have surpassed 80 percent, with the exception of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Travco has market share of between 15 percent and 20 percent of the Polish, Belgian, British, Italian, Ukrainian and Austrian markets, Chiaty said, adding it had recently refurbished its hotels.

Three years ago, a terrorist attack brought down a Russian passenger plane, causing Russia to halt all flights to Egypt and Britain to ground flights to Sinai. But there have not been any major attacks aimed at the tourist sector in more than a year, and Russia resumed flights to Cairo in April, although it has yet to authorize its aircraft to land in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.