Egypt is welcoming an increase in tourists, announcing a target to double the amount of travellers visiting the region by 2028 - which comes as New Zealand tourism businesses are noticing an increase in bookings by travellers.
Tourism and antiquities minister Ahmed Issa announced to the press that Egypt will aim to reach 30 million visitors by 2028. Since January, the country has seen about 10 million tourists so far. Officials expect to reach over 15 million tourists before the year ends.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Ahmed Issa said that, “We’re seeing unparalleled demand, unprecedented demand for travel into Egypt.”
Angela Webber, UK, Europe and NZ product manager for House of Travel, has observed the popularity of Egypt as a destination for New Zealand travellers. Angela notes that bookings for travel are being made well in advance and that some river cruise companies have already opened their bookings up until 2026.
“We are seeing Kiwis wanting to discover Egypt, especially in the luxury travel space. There is a lot of talk and excitement about the upcoming opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum due to open later this year. It will be located on the Giza Plateau, near the pyramids, and will be home to one of the world’s largest collection of antiquities and nearly all 5000 artifacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb.”
However, it’s not just the development of sites overseas that could be leading to piquing interest. Webber points to a local exhibition, filled with notable artefacts from Egyptian history, that could be increasing the enthusiasm of potential travellers.
“We think the current exhibition on at Auckland Museum – Egypt: In the Time of Pharaohs - is inspiring Kiwis to book to see the real thing in Egypt because it’s a bucket list destination.”
Louise Levesque, general manager of The Travel Corporation, agrees that Egypt is a bucket list destination for plenty of travellers. Levesque also agrees that the Auckland Museum exhibition has promoted the country as a must-see destination and suggests that the recent 2022 remake of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile has also played a role in stirring interest (though the film itself was filmed in England).
Levesque suggests that travellers are seeking luxury travel in their holidays to Egypt, with increasing popularity of cruises to the destination.
In terms of the popular destinations for tourists, Webber says the historic and ancient sites remain a key attraction.
“We have also seen a significant increase in Kiwis who are drawn to Cairo and the Pyramids adding on a cruise along the Nile river to visit the Valley of the Kings and visiting the temples of Abu Simbel. Kiwis are also staying longer and extending our trips to this region by joining Egypt with Jordan or with Israel.”
Caryn Young, the general manager at Adventure World NZ, says there has been an increase in the number of independent travellers from 2023 to 2024 and that serving the desire to see the ancient sites is a priority.
“Egypt is home to some of the world’s most iconic historical and archaeological sites, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Luxor, Karnak Temple, and the Valley of the Kings. At Adventure World we are customising authentic journeys for the Adventure World traveller who is yearning to see these sites.”
- With AP