CAIRO: Egypt Air will launch flights to Sharm el-Sheikh at reduced prices from Nov. 14 to mid-December as part of Egyptian efforts to undo the damage of the Russian place crash to tourism in the country, Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
The Cabinet approved a budget of no less than $5 million from the Tourism Fund to execute a public relations campaign to improve the image of Sharm el-Sheikh after the crash.
On Nov. 7, Minister of Transportation Saa’d al-Geyoushi reduced ticket prices of super jets travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada to promote domestic tourism.
Egypt stands to lose 6.6 billion EGP ($840 million) under the scenario that Russia and Britain continue to suspend flights to the Sinai Peninsula for three months, Tourism Minister Hesham Zaazou said Wednesday.
The tourism sector is one of Egypt’s most important sources of income and foreign currency. Thousands of Egyptians depend on tourist-related jobs, a field that has already struggled since the January 25 Revolution in Egypt. Red Sea resorts, however, continued to yield profits after the 2011 turmoil.
A campaign that calls for a million tourists from Saudi Arabia to visit Sharm el-Sheikh kicked off Wednesday at the Egyptian consulate in Jeddah, the General Egyptian Union in Saudi and Egypt Air.
The campaign will include presentations introducing tourist attractions in Egypt, especially Sharm el-Sheikh, to Saudis and other people who live in the Kingdom.
Several Egyptian and Arab celebrities and singers will arrive in the Red Sea resort Friday and Saturday to participate in a festival promoting tourism after a Russian plane was downed Oct. 31 over the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptians have also launched several campaigns online to encourage people to go to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Further, Kuwaitis reportedly created a hashtag “I am with Egypt” in solidarity with Egyptian people, launching an electronic campaign describing the beauty of Sharm el-Sheikh city during winter season. The campaign called for standing against what it described as a “conspiracy” targeting Egypt’s economy.