News from Around the World on Egypt Travel and Archaeology



March 11, 2003

Latest Statistics

The U.S. market witnessed an increase of 32.6% for the month of February 2003 (Compared to February 2002) and an increase of 40.2% for the period January-February totaling a number of 5007 tourists.

Grand Total for February 2003 also increased by 22% compared to last year with a total # of 827,596 tourists for the period January-February.


Kalabsha Island Of Aswan To Reopen For Visitors After 40 Years

"Unesco International Salvaging Campaign"

The Egyptian Ministry of Culture celebrated at the end of December 2002, the closing stages of the development and salvaging program of a group of temples in the Kalabsha Island, situated 30 Km. South of Aswan.

Arrangements are currently taking place, to reopen the area to visitors for the first time since 40 years. It is noteworthy that the salvaging of the temples is executed within the "UNESCO International Salvaging Campaign" that started in the sixties.

Minister of Culture declared that the Kalabsha Island that hosts the five temples would be transformed into an open museum for Pharaonic and Roman antiquities.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that the project cost amounted to 15 million Egyptian Pounds, financed by the Nubian Antiquities Salvaging Fund. The program consisted of a scrutinized restoration plan; lighting of the whole island at night, as well as the construction of an anchorage connected to lake Nasser, whereby tourists can reach the island through its waters.


Egypt One Of "The Worlds Cheapest Destinations"
New Book Highlights 21 Countries Where Travel Dollars

Are Worth A Fortune NASHVILLE, USAFor most travelers, the movie world fantasy of winning and dining for weeks on end in France, Switzerland, or the British Virgin Island is simply that-a fantasy. As a new book by travel writer Tim Leffel points out, however, travelers can still live it up overseas by visiting countries such as Egypt, one of "The Worlds Cheapest Destinations."

"The Worlds Cheapest Destinations" highlights great travel values in 21 different countries, with a general overview of what makes the country attractive and estimates on costs for accommodation, food and drink, transportation, and "what you can get for a buck or less."For Egypt, the author highlights the wealth of historic attractions, the unparalleled diving and snorkling opportunities, and the excellent train system from Cairo to Aswan.

"If vacationers simply look beyond the typical travel spots, theyll find places such as Egypt where the prices are too low to believe," the author explains. Here you have some of the oldest and most spectacular historic sites on the planet, yet travel costs are a fraction of what they are in most tourism draws.

In this prolonged period of international recession and deflated investment portfolios, this book shows travelers that they dont have to give up their dream of international travel. "By choosing an attractive, but less pricey travel spot," Leffel explains, "vacationers can stop worrying about what they can afford after arrival."

For more information, see


The International Paris-Dakar-Sharm El Sheikh Rally
A Striking Grand Finale In Sharm El Sheikh

The Paris-Dakar-Sharm El Sheikh Rally has ended its activities in an outstanding ceremony in Sharm El Sheikh. The rally is considered one of the most famous and toughest events in the world of sports.

The saying of the rally has always been "A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind." This 2003 edition of the rally has gained more magnitude as it celebrated its 25th anniversary, crossing through new terrains that brought utmost suspense, high anticipation, challenge, while revealing unbelievable breathtaking scenery to participants.

Dr. El Beltagui declared in a press conference: "Tourism and Sports are very similar, they generate compassion, kindness and understanding between people and nations. Which in return generates development and prosperity."

Acquainting the audience proudly with the Egyptian product, his Excellency stated that Egypt has an incredible wide array of touristic products. "We have many of the oldest superlative antiquities, that dates back to ancient pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Jewish, Christian and Islamic times, as well as long stretches of wonderful beaches, rivers, lakes, clear azure seas, high mountains, vast serene deserts, splendid oasis, plus all around the year sunny warm weather."

On a question about the current crisis, the minister confirmed that Egypt is thousands of kilometers away from hot spots of turbulence and turmoil. Trying to observe the friendly and peaceful nature of Egyptians will give you a correct insight about how such a deep rooted 6000 years of civilization forms the nature of Egyptians today. "It is very clear on all these smiling faces that surround us today so you can observe the reality of Egypt on this cheerful pleasant day!" Said the minister.

The Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh is one of the most famous in the world for scuba diving. The biggest seaside resort in Sinai, or "la prestigieuse station balneaire" as Dr. El Beltagui likes to describe it in French, has grown amazingly in just a few years and blessed with an extra ordinary climate throughout the year, swimming and diving in the clear waters is very much enjoyed by all water enthusiasts."

It was clear that many of those who attended the finale agree that choosing Sharm El Sheikh was indeed a smart choiceevery one was wearing a smile!

12 New Burial Grounds To Be Opened For Tourists In The
Valley Of The Kings-Luxor

The Supreme Council of Antiquities, has decided to open 12 ancient cemeteries in Wady El-Molouk "Valley of the Kings" area, in the East Bank-Luxor for tourists. Two of which were never opened before, namely Ramsis the Fourth and Ramsis the Seventh.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities declared that three other tombs in the same site would be closed for restoration, as they were not restored in 50 years.

Dr. Mahmoud Mabrouk, the Councils consultant said that among the tombs that would be closed, one that belongs to the great King Tut Ankh Amoun, Ramsis the sixth, and Amenhotep.

He further added, that the restoration process would aim at amplifying the inscriptions of the tombs. He pointed out that this comes within the framework of a plan that gives great consideration to restoring that archaeological sites simultaneously with opening others for tourists. This plan was adapted after a recommendation from the "UNESCO" to the countries that possess such rich archaeological heritage like Egypt.


One Hundred Chinese Tourists Celebrate
The Chinese New Year At The Pyramids

The Pyramids plateau in Giza, Egypt witnessed the celebrations of a hundred Chinese tourists rejoicing the Chinese New Year.

Egyptian Minister of tourism, Dr. El Beltagui, declared that bilateral relations between Egypt and China are witnessing remarkable growth and cooperation.

As a response to this escalating development the Ministry of Tourism has recently opened its first tourist bureau in the Chinese capital Beijing, in addition to issuing several publications, informative brochures and travel guides in Chinese, as well as encouraging the opening of numerous Chinese restaurants to cater for the increasing flow of Chinese visiting Egypt.

It is also note worthy that Egypt Air initiated its first direct flight to Beijing earlier this year.


Egypt Receives 17,000 Tourists In 24 Hours

Egyptian resorts and governorates witnessed remarkable tourist arrivals in less than 24 hours, as one hundred and twenty air flights, carrying around 17,000 tourists arrived at Egyptian airports.


New Airport In Luxor To Be Opened Next Year

Luxor Airport witnessed an outstanding increase in the aviation traffic, to and from Luxor this winter. During the month of January 2003, the airport received 553 international and domestic aircrafts carrying about 106,000 Egyptian and foreign passengers.

Consequently, Minister of Civil Aviation gave instructions to finish constructing the new airport as soon as possible. The new airport, which is due to be opened next January, is expected to accommodate seven million passengers. This exceeds three times the current capacity of the existing airport, which received two million passengers this year.

First Open Museum For Holy Religious Monuments In the World

Minister of Culture will inaugurate the first phase of upgrading and restoration project of the Hanging Church during the upcoming few months.

This project started three years ago to protect the unique monument, and comes within the frame of a plan for joining the "Hanging Church" with "Amr Ben el Ass Mosque" region and the "Ben Ezra Jewish synagogue" to transfer the area into the first open museum for holy religious monuments in the world at a cost of approximately 23 million Egyptian Pounds.


The Museum of Atun Under Construction In El Menya

The museum of Atun will cover an area of 25 acres at the western bank of the Nile and will include the museum covering 13 acres, a museum garden, an institute for restoration, as well as a conference center.

Head of Hildesheim Museum, Germany, attended the meeting with the purpose of selecting pieces of antiquities from the stores in El Menya and Malawi to be ready for display in the intended museum.


Egyptian Incentive Charter Program Continues

The Ministry of Finance has approved the continuation of the "Egyptian Charter Incentive Program" until 15/10/2003 or the consumption of the allocated budget, whatever comes first. The program implemented at the total cost of thirty-three million Euros hit success since it started, yet considered an essential part in the strategic contingency plan and promotional campaigns carried out by the Ministry of Tourism.


Ministry of Tourism Finances Docking Facilities In Luxor

Within the framework of a broad plan put down by the Ministry of Tourism to construct docking facilities on the Nile equipped with all the necessary facilities in El-Boghddadi area, Luxor, Dr. Mamdouh El Beltagui, Minister of Tourism approved the project subsidizing Tourism Fund for research and comprehensive studies.

It is worth mentioning that the plan includes the construction of nine docks, work is finished in six of them, yet three only are currently operating.

His Excellency declared that this project comes within a plan to upgrade the infrastructure serving floating hotels in Luxor. Thus, developing this type of tourism, lies within the adopted policy to diverse the Egyptian touristic product.


Thousands Of Tourists To Witness Sun Rays
Falling Perpendicular On Ramses II

More than 3000 tourists gathered at the Abu Simbel temple very early in the morning of February 22nd, holding their breath while watching the sun rays illuminating the sanctuary and falling on the face of King Ramses II.

Jean Louis Burckardt discovered the awesome temple in 1813. The genius architecture and precise alignment positions the temple to receive the sun rays twice a year during February and October to celebrate the Pharaohs birth and enthronement day, taking place on the 22nd of the previously mentioned months.

The spectacular event is a true astrological phenomenon and a display of ancient Egyptian mastermind. The faade of the temple is dominated by four colossal seated figures of King Ramses II, who is considered among the most famous and mightiest ancient rulers of Egypt.

Last Updated: June 13th, 2011