Is Egypt on its way to becoming a world destination for nautical tourism?


Is Egypt on its way to becoming a world destination for nautical tourism?

Photo credit: Cloud Front

There is no place in Egypt untouched by culture and heritage: from the Nile and coastal turquoise blue waters, to temples and tombs, palaces and museums – Egypt is an epicenter of tourism.

Egypt has redoubled its efforts to position itself as an emerging destination for nautical tourism. The State Information Services (SIS) pointed out that the Mediterranean Sea is considered an important center for yachting tourism globally, where more than 30,000 yachts sail.

In recent years, Egypt has launched several promotional campaigns in the hope of boosting Egypt’s tourism sector. It has been estimated that more than EGP 30 million (USD 22 billion) was added to Egypt’s gross domestic production (GDP) due to travel and tourism in 2021 alone.

In the same vein, Egypt has developed plans to position itself as an emerging destination for nautical tourism, capitalizing on the nautical tourism projects proposed by the Egyptian government. In early September 2022, the Higher Ministerial Committee developed a strategy to maximize yacht tourism globally, with the aim of attracting foreign yachts to Egyptian ports.

The unique geographical point of view

Egypt has a unique geographical location, with coastlines stretching almost 2.4 kilometers across the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Its islands are also home to prime diving spots and popular water sports sites, which position them as attractive tourist destinations.

Currently, Egypt has 23 marinas and berths, including Naama Bay marina in Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba Heights marina, which can accommodate up to 50 yachts and also provide maintenance services for them, the Abu Tig marina of El-Gouna and the marina of Hurghada. , which can accommodate 188 yachts at a time.

There is also Porto Marina on the north coast, which is the first international yacht marina in eastern North Africa and can accommodate over 1,400 yachts, and Marassi Marina, the latest addition, which can accommodate more than 260 yachts. The state is working to build more marinas, including an international port in New Alamein.

Egypt also plans to establish its first yacht “green marina” powered by renewable energy, planned to cover an area of ​​25,000 square meters, with a capacity to accommodate 65 yachts. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, explained that there are three marinas on the canal route, including Port Said, Ismailia and Suez.

The perspective of government efforts

The Ministry of Transport has launched its first digital platform to manage, develop and issue the necessary approvals and permits for yachts. Through the digital platform, yacht owners can submit necessary documents, pay a fixed fee on state-owned berths, receive invoices, etc.

The new regulations set daily mooring fees between $4 and $14 per meter of yacht length, with longer yachts paying more per meter. Charges are applicable to yachts 10 meters in length and over.

The Ministry of Transport is also coordinating with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to launch a marketing campaign to advertise tourist ports and marinas to boost leisure tourism.

The customer point of view

Photo credit: Square space

Egypt is home to a large boating community. From an economic point of view, nautical tourism is a source of influx of foreign currency.

According to former Tourism Minister Khaled El Anany, yacht tourists spend on average 94% more than the average tourist.

Some of the most popular yacht tourism destinations in the world include Croatian Islands, Greek Islands, St. Tropez and the Caribbean. What unites all these beautiful destinations are their turquoise waters and secluded beaches, and Egypt offers an array of these scenic spots. Thanks to government efforts, the associated economic benefits and its unique geographical location, Egypt is poised to become a global yachting destination in the future.

Each corner of Egypt is home to distinct types of tourist destinations, such as spiritual and religious tourism, cultural and archaeological tourism, and resort and desert tourism. Egypt is an attractive destination for foreigners and locals.

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