NEWLY released figures have confirmed that the British love affair with El Gouna, one of the Red Sea’s top leisure destinations, is still going strong.
The statistics show that the UK is now the resort’s fourth largest source market, with nearly 1 in 10 arrivals, guest nights and room nights all being attributable to UK visitors. This is a slight change from 2006 when the UK held third place for guest night production, but the change has been attributed to an increase in domestic tourism and Egypt now occupies third position.
Overall, the total number of guest nights increased by 17 per cent compared to 2006, to reach a figure over 1.5million. Within this, the resort saw a 6 per cent increase in the number of UK guest nights during 2007 but overall the UK’s percentage share of the market fell slightly by 0.95 per cent. This was also a more general trend, demonstrating that El Gouna is increasingly developing an international community feel as it gains popularity and visitors from a wider number of source nations.
The relatively slower growth in the number of UK guest nights during 2007 compared to previous years is likely to be due largely to less seat capacity available on the London Gatwick – Hurghada route. In recent years, some tour operators have stopped operating flights on the route, while GB Airways also reduced its twice-weekly service to become just once a week during the winter season only. This means that all flights now arrive on the same day, restricting the amount of flexibility guests have when choosing to visit the destination.
Occupancy at the resort remained high, however, with the hotels reporting an average of 83 per cent, representing a 10 per cent increase from 2006. The figures showed that the most popular months to travel were March, April, August, September, October and November, demonstrating that the resort retains its status as a year-round destination.
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