Egypt’s tourism recovery appears to have hit its stride, with Bunnik Tours the latest operator to signal a strong resurgence.
Six years after the country’s political upheaval, managing director Dennis Bunnik says tour bookings are on track to reach 60% of their pre-2011 levels, ending a long stagnation.
“When the revolution hit, Egypt bookings dropped 90%,” Bunnik said. “They stayed 80 to 90% down since then, but this year they’ll be back up at 60% of pre-revolution levels. The increase in the last year is massive.”
Bunnik was the only Australian tour operator on the ground at the time of the 2011 revolution and won praise for his efforts in managing and evacuating guests. Having visited the destination at least a dozen times since, he says the time is now right to launch a major re-education initiative for the trade in the form of the company’s first “mega famil” for 45 agents.
“Egypt has always been very close to our hearts,” he said. “We never abandoned Egypt, as soon as it was safe we got back in and continued selling tours. Now we’re working with Egypt Tourism to rebuild tourism — it’s the one industry that helps all levels of society.”
The Bunnik Tours’ mega famil will operate from 24 October to 3 November and will be the first famil hosted by the company’s full family contingent — Marion, Dennis and Sacha Bunnik.
With the support of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, Bunnik says it will include “money-can’t-buy experiences” such as access to key museums ahead of public opening.