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Egypt offers cheap packages to encourage domestic tourism

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CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt’s ministries of tourism and civil aviation have launched an initiative to encourage domestic tourism in an attempt to boost hotel occupancy rates, Al-Ahram Arabic-language news

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CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt’s ministries of tourism and civil aviation have launched an initiative to encourage domestic tourism in an attempt to boost hotel occupancy rates, Al-Ahram Arabic-language news website reported Saturday.

The initiative will last 1-15 September. The summer vacation for schools ends 21 September.

The initiative includes low-price packages for Egyptians, including air tickets and accommodation in four and five star hotels.

Air companies affiliated with the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation will cooperate with several hotels in the country’s most prominent tourism cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh to introduce half-board programmes starting from LE1000 (roughly $143), including air travel and staying for three nights.

Egypt’s tourism has been suffering since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi 3 July, the situation worsening after the forced dispersal of the two major sit-ins staged by Morsi supporters in Cairo and Giza.

The forced dispersal was followed by bloody clashes in the streets in almost all governorates, leaving at least 900 dead and thousands injuried, which prompted several countries to issue travel warnings on Egypt.

Egypt received around 5.7 million tourists in the first six months of 2013, a 9.6 percent rise compared to the same period in 2012, generating $4.4 billion in tourism revenue.

Tourism insiders expect figures to plummet for July and August due to ongoing unrest.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.