Classic Egypt back on map as FCO relaxes advice for tourists visiting Luxor and Aswan

British tourists wishing to visit the Valley of the Kings, home to Tutankhamun’s famous tomb, can once again do so safe in the knowledge that they will be covered by travel insurance after the British government relaxed long-standing advisories.

The FCO is still warning against all but essential travel to a large part of the country including Cairo and the North Sinai but destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and the Abu Simbel temples in Nubia are back on the map.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: ‘We continue to urge British nationals already in Egypt to follow the instructions of the local authorities and obey curfews where they are in place. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt. This has not changed.’

They continued: ‘As always, the safety of British nationals is a priority. We continue to follow developments carefully, and keep our travel advice under continuous review.

‘British nationals should continue to monitor FCO travel advice closely for any updates and stay away from any demonstrations or protests.’

Speaking at a holiday industry conference in London last week, Egypt’s minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou told journalists: ‘More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open.’


Minister of Tourism said : Egypt open for tourism




Egypt will end its state of emergency and lift all curfews in the country by November 14, according to Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Hesham Zaazou Speaking at World Travel Market at London’s Excel, he said, ‘Over 18 countries have now lifted their negative travel advice to key regions of the Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan. Egypt’s compass is now pointing in the right direction.’

Apart from the Red Sea resorts, the UK government currently advises against all but essential travel to most of Egypt including Luxor and Aswan, but the Minister hopes this is reviewed and expects to meet with the Foreign Office in the coming days.


Following this summer’s revolution and subsequent protests, Egypt has seen a huge drop in tourist arrivals. ‘It’s been a challenging time as over 4 million Egyptians work in tourism,’ he said. ‘In the last week of September, we saw a drop of 90% compared to last year which is huge. However, while the media has focused on negative images of Cairo, I want to stress that not one single tourist has been targeted.’


As part of the mission to win back tourists, the tourist board has launched their ‘Egypt Now’ initiative with live streams of key tourist hot spots in Egypt available on their website, as well as an ‘Egypt Travel’ mobile application  for visitors to plan their holiday.


‘One million British tourists visited Egypt last year and 1.46 million in 2010. We must be doing something right and we’re adamant we can retrieve these figures.’Blue hole entrance



A message From the Minister of tourism in Egypt

The official message of H.E. HISHAM ZAAZOU, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. The Message is addressed to the tour operators (Egypt’s professional partners).
on the official YouTube Channel hisham Zaazou

Resignation of the Minister of Tourism

Mr. Hisham Zazoua the Minister of Tourism  request of the Prime Minister to accept his resignation on objection to the assigning of Luxor New Governor who has a terrorist background and has been accused in  participating in  Luxor massacre in 1997, and all  the tourism sector Supporting the position of the Tourism ministerhisham Zaazou

Egyptian Ministry of Tourism Latest News

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The Ministry of tourism has been closely following the latest development in Egypt Domestic political scene , taking in consideration that such political developments are of temporary nature and are quite expected during this transition of the Egyptian Revolution

The Ministry of tourism take this opportunity to reassure its international tourism partners As well as its guests that these political developments do not affect services rendered to tourists and that business is as usual where Egyptians are keen to welcome their guests throughout the country .

The tourist arrivals to Egypt during the period Jan- Sep 2012 show an increase of 20.2% over the same period in 2011 (figures)

The Tourism industry in Egypt  – resilient as ever – continues to develop, plan and move ahead with the number of calculated new products such as the reoperation of the Nile cruises after a halt period of more than 15 years .

The kebbash Road connecting Luxor Temple with Karnak Temple will be reopened – after  a full over healing process – to visitors in March 2013 , as well as new measures to renovate the pyramids area . All touristic sites in Egypt are fully open to visitors as usual .

All those action reflect the vast interest and support the current Government of Egypt attaches to the Tourism Industry as one of the main pillars of Egyptian national economy.

The Ministry of tourism – once again – expresses its commitment to all measures to further develop and sustain this important industry ; welcoming tourists at all times .

Winter in Egypt – what to expect in the land of the pharaohs

Those looking for a cheap package holiday destination, but abhors the mass tourism  that should spend the winter in Egypt, because, although there is persistent rumors indicate contrary, this year no bikini ban, not only have the Red Sea resorts have sufficient capacity available. No matter what attractions you want to visit in Egypt, they have been virtually alone for themselves.

There are places for a cruise on the Nile, for example, have enough. To sail on the longest river in the world around is considered a particularly romantic way to discover Egypt. Travel of this kind can, as the Egypt holiday deals from Thomas Cook book on short notice at a travel agency in Internet or even on site. The namesake of the second largest German tour operator, among others organized the first ever cruise on the Nile, is regarded as the inventor of the package.
What he would think of a trip to Egypt in 2012? Not only in the center of Cairo Egyptian Museum missing visitors, which yes, the proximity to Tahrir Square would be more understandable. Finally, the name was linked from the outset with the uprisings against former dictator Hosni Mubarak. At the moment there is virtually unobstructed view of the pyramids. There, where a previously crowds blocked the way, now there is nothing but emptiness.
Even the White Desert and Alexandria seems to want to visit any more.
Here, the Mediterranean city was just on the point to follow up on their old feats. On the island of Pharos in the Bay of Alexandria once stood the lighthouse, it was expected to be the Seven Wonders. But almost more famous was the Library of Alexandria. In this haven of learning were formed Archimedes, Euclid and Eratosthenes. With 700,000 papyrus scrolls in ancient times it was the largest library in the world.
Since 2002 it again, the famous Library of Alexandria. Not far from the old location it was rebuilt. However, not only the facade is modern: it was created space for eight million books (in about 1.5 million have been around) and a backup copy of the Internet Archive, which includes about three petabytes.
The library, which is currently used primarily by students should also be a tourist attraction, but the largest with 2000 seats open reading room lures – like all other classic attractions – at barely more visitors.
What Thomas Cook would say probably it? He probably would advise Europeans in need of recuperation, not to be deterred by the uncertain political situation and to take an educational trip to Egypt. After all, he has done 1860.

Is Egypt Safe for Tourism? Yes.

Egypt has had its share of problems over the past two years and the country continues to work to get its political house in order. During that time Egypt has remained safe for foreign tourists. With the exception of a short period of time in 2011 — as the old regime was collapsing — and and for another short period of time before law and order could be restored, the country has not been dangerous.The issues that brought about the Revolution and its iconic mass protests and demonstrations were largely domestic political issues and we did not see foreign tourists targeted even during this period.Some foreign journalists who refused to heed advice and headed out into rowdy crowds with cameras were attacked in isolated incidents during the Revolution, and a few Western students in Egypt who foolishly decided to participate in some of the protests and who themselves engaged in illegal behavior (like throwing rocks and bottles from rooftops) ran afoul of the law and wound up in trouble with the local police. Although these incidents got widespread coverage back home, they were certainly not the norm for Westerners even during the height of the Revolution.

After the Egyptian Revolution ran its course, tourist operations in Egypt picked back up and continued, although with far fewer tourists visiting throughout the rest of 2011. Our company,Middle Eastern Adventures, returned to Egypt in early 2012, and we have had nothing but great experiences with our groups of American guests ever since. We coincidentally had groups in Egypt during the parliamentary elections and during both rounds of presidential elections in 2012 – periods during which the media back home often portrayed the rallies for new presidential candidates and parties as the same revolution-style mass protests seen the year prior – but everything with our groups went smoothly and our clients enthusiastically attested in their unedited, end-of-trip video reviews that they felt completely safe traveling to and around Egypt with us.

There were a couple of unusual – and again isolated – incidents out in the largely ungoverned Sinai region in which local bedouin held up or detoured tourists for up to 24 hours to get the attention of the central government back in Cairo, but they occurred in areas that are not currently recommended for unaccompanied tourism, and in all cases the tourists had ignored the warnings and ventured out anyway without proper accompaniment and security. Our groups always travel with government-provided security within Egypt, even in areas where it is perfectly safe to travel alone.

But disregarding the authorities’ advice as well as the common wisdom is the quickest way to find yourself in a sticky situation no matter where you’re traveling. The Egyptian government does an excellent job of securing the popular tourist areas, and travel and tour companies are partial to avoiding risks. Hence, it’s always best to follow sage advice, and the crowds, when traveling in the developing world.

More recently, the incident in which a few rogue protestors climbed the U.S. Embassy wall in Cairo and took down the American flag in the compound’s courtyard was a legitimate cause for concern. This type of activity is highly symbolic, and it was quickly condemned on all sides of the political spectrum. But even then, tourism in Egypt continued uninterrupted. In fact, clients on our recent women’s group trip that visited Egypt from mid- to late-October reported that they felt completely safe, welcome, and warmly received as they traveled around in style with Middle Eastern Adventures and our highly attentive American staff on the ground in Egypt.

The truth about Egypt is that its recent restlessness is more about internal domestic issues and about a proud and awakened people yearning for freedom and dignity. That’s what the Egyptian Revolution in January 2011 was all about, and the country continues to make its way toward this goal. Ordinary Egyptians all over the country warmly welcome foreign tourists, especially Americans, and they are always incredibly happy to see us returning.

Our media back home continue to perpetuate the myth that Egypt is unsafe for foreign tourists, and they love to play old clips of rallies and demonstrations in one tiny square in one city of Egypt from specific days every time a story on Egypt is reported. The funny thing to those of us actually on the ground in Egypt every month is that we see these same news reports and stories on TV from our hotel rooms, then we look out the window and see life on the streets of Cairo going on as normal – calmly and peacefully. Then we look back at the TV screen and see clips being played from months or even years ago now and we can’t help but laugh.

Those who can see past the facade and who are willing to come visit Egypt are always surprised to find out how amazing the experience is, even now, and the fact that tourism is depressed generally across the region means that it’s the perfect time to come see this country without the congestion and crowds that you normally see at Egypt’s world-famous sites and monuments


A picture of an Egyptian protester during the ...

A picture of an Egyptian protester during the 2011 Egyptian revolution holding the Egyptian flag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Egypt to auction land for tourist developments:Tourism Minister

Egypt Red sea – Luxor  – Aswan

Tourism could return to pre-revolution levels by next year, says minister, as he outlines news plans for land auctions in key Red Sea resorts

Egypt will auction sites covering 28 million square metres of land for tourist developments in the next 14 months to expand the vital industry, its tourism minister said.

Hisham Zaazou is tasked with reviving a sector that accounted for 10 per cent of economic activity before the revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak last year drove away investors and tourists.
Tourists are returning to Egypt but do not yet match the levels of 2010, before the uprising, when 14.5 million people visited, earning the country $12.5 billion.
Speaking late on Tuesday, Zaazou told Reuters that Egypt could match those levels in 2013. By 2020 the country targets an ambitious 30 million tourists, prompting the government’s plans for selling new plots.
“I will start auctioning (the land) maybe next month and before the end of 2013 all of the 28 million sq metres will have been put on offer,” Zaazou said, adding that the offer has already been met with interest from European and Gulf investors.
Some of the sites to be auctioned would be sold, others would be for lease.
Sites due to come up for auction will include Red Sea resorts such as Ain Sokhna and Marsa Allam.
“Investors will be putting their money in areas that already have customers, not in a barren desert,” said Zaazou, who was appointed in August. He worked with private tourism firms, including in the United States, before moving to the ministry.
Zaazou said he was studying incentive programmes to lure investors, including a plan for the state to pay social security payments for employees of firms investing within a set period.
He also said he was working with the civil aviation and transport ministries to improve access to tourist areas, including plans to improve the quality of overnight trains from Cairo to popular destinations of Luxor and Aswsan in the south.
Zaazou said Turkish Airlines had launched direct flights from Istanbul to Red Sea resorts such as Sharm El-Sheikh, helping to lure more Turkish and European visitors, and said he wanted to improve connections to the Far East and South America.
Echoing earlier comments, he said Egypt – now governed by an Islamist president – wanted to draw in tourists holding conservative Islamic values but not at the expense of others from the West or elsewhere, who might be discouraged by any move to ban alcohol or impose other Islamic restrictions.
He said drawing in Islamic-minded tourists “will not detract from mainstream tourism nor will it be an alternative to it.”
“I wish that people can co-exist … like in Turkey and in Dubai,” he said.
As an example, he said some Arab investors were building a five-star hotel in Cairo that would not allow alcohol, smoking, loud music or gender-mixed swimming pools. It would also focus on spa and health services to cater to customers who want an Islamic tourism package or others seeking a health resort.
The biggest present challenge to tourism, he said, was local and international media conveying what he said was an exaggerated image of lax security. Pictures of protests and sometimes violence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have deterred some.
“The image that is being conveyed about Egypt is an image confined to 1 square kilometre of the country, so to speak, namely Tahrir square,” Zaazou said. “This is a challenge.”
“When tourism to Cairo is affected, this in turn affects the rest of cultural tourism such as Luxor and Aswan,” he said, adding that if protests till year-end remained peaceful in the square, this would revive tourists’ confidence in Egypt.

Ahram Online