EasyJet Holidays hopes to include up to 24 hotels in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh in its debut Egypt programme when the operator relaunches at the end of the year.
Paul Bixby, easyJet Holidays’ strategy and sourcing director, said there was “a big opportunity” in the country, adding that a decision to increase capacity in the Red Sea had already been made before the Sharm flight ban was lifted last month.
“EasyJet Holidays has got that ability to move quickly,” Bixby said. “We will offer a curated selection of hotels that we know are popular in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh entering the summer in 2020.
“We would like to keep it small – 10 to 12 in each.”
Bixby, who was speaking at an Egyptian tourism event during WTM, said he has been in discussions with hoteliers in the country wanting to know if standards had changed during the flight ban which had been in place since October 2015.
Asked if agents would be able to sell easyJet Holiday’s products in Egypt, Bixby said: “We are currently evaluating our trade participation…they will be able to sell them eventually.”
Amir El Ezabi, Egyptian state tourist office’s UK and Ireland director said: “We are speaking with all of the tour operators – both big, small and traditional.”
Egyptian tourism generated its highest-ever revenues in the last year despite a UK flight ban to one its key destinations, Sharm el-Sheikh.
Rania Al Mashat, Egypt’s minster of tourism, said: “So much has happened for the tourism sector in Egypt and we have been able to achieve the highest tourism revenues in Egypt’s history.
“In our fiscal year 2018-19, we have $12.6 billion and that is before the UK visitors have resumed coming to Sharm el Sheikh.
“That is testament to the efforts of the government and the private sector to ensure that our destination is one of resilience and strength.”