The efforts exerted to support and enhance hostelry and the tourism industry in general as one of the main pillars of the Egyptian economy are obvious to all. Within this framework, it has become ultimately necessary that we benefit from all knowledgeable professional expertise available. Hence, we had this interesting and hopeful business chat with Ms. Eman El-Mahdy, the public relations and marketing director at Steigenberger Hotel El-Tahrir Cairo.
First of all, what is your philosophy or strategy for doing things at work?
I usually prefer performance in integrated teamwork with full coordination with the other departments of the establishment I work for. I always look forward to developing performance through the use of modern technology to do things faster and more accurately. And, of course, I constantly search for the latest developed techmiques of work and try to have new more sophesticated and unconventional methods that add greater benefit to work.
From your point of view, what are the steps the state should take to boost tourism?
The state should pay greater attention to creating new types of tourism, especially that Egypt possesses marvellous touristic potentials and treasures that have not been well used or benefited from so far. All these need to be well organized and professionally manipulated to give a push to tourism in Egypt. Needless to say that good highly qualified training is needed for the people working in tourism to raise the quality of service offered to tourists.
We shouldn’t forget that there should be more coordination and cooperation between the ministries concerned with tourism, especially the ministry of aviation which needs urgent development to its work techniques to provide better service to the tourism industry as it nearly totally depends in tourist movement on air travel.
The state should work hard to raise awareness of the Egyptian citizen on the importance of tourism to the Egyptian economy particularly among the people working in or connected to the tourism industry and the people living around the different tourist attraction areas. This will definitely assure the excellence of the Egyptian touristic destinations and show their characteristic welcome and friendly treatment to tourists the Egyptians are famous for.
Is the number of hotels in Cairo greater than the demand from customers and visitors or are they enough to fulfill all the needs of the tourist market?
Contrary to what is commonly believed, Cairo won’t be able to absorb all the demand of tourist flow if the tourist movement restored its normal previous rates like it was in 2010. This is what all experts expect especially after resuming air flights from tourist exporting countries to Egypt to its normal pace particularly the cultural tourism alongside with greater efforts to attract more conferences, exhibitions and fairs to be held in Cairo.
How do you see the future of tourism in Egypt in the next five years?
I expect that the Egyptian tourism will achieve a far higher rank and the number of tourists will increase and surpass the peak year, thanks to restoring stability and security that always characterized life in Egypt and gave advantage to the Egyptian tourist destination over other competitive ones. In addition, the ministry of tourism and the Egyptian tourism authority are planning to target new markets to attract more tourists to Egypt especially south eastern Asian and Latin American countries which are all huge tourist exporting markets. They stay longer and thus make more tourist days and nights and spend more money.
Moreover, the government tourism sector is working on creating new types of tourism rather than the traditional types that Egypt relied on in the past. This will of course help increase the numbers of tourists which will give Egypt a push to get her natural position in tourism among world destinations.
How do you see cmpetition in the field of hostelry?
Competition in the field of hostlery depends primarily on the quality of the service offered to the tourist. That’s to say, the higher the quality is, the more tourists are attracted. This is direct and real time propaganda for the hotel offering the service. The variety of service also has a role to play in achieving excellence and popularity with the tourists. As for the service prices, they should be competitive and suitable, but not very low to the extent that they affect the standard and quality of service.
What does your hotel offer to keep its competitive performance compared to other hotels?
Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir is considered the newest and latest of the German International Steigenberger Hotel Series in Egypt. The new Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir is ideally located at the heart of Cairo down town directly overlooking the famous Egyptian Tahrir Square which encompasses different landmarks of the capital including the world famous Egyptian Museum.
Steigenberger Hotel is raked as a four-star hotel. Construction work on the project started in March, 2013. It consists of a two-storey car park, 295 rooms and 18 suites. It also has a celebration hall that covers 437 s-m and 5 large conference halls fully hi tech equiped and can host up to 300 people in addition to 5 meeting rooms.
Steingerberger Hotel El tahrir has a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spa, sauna, a gym and a massage hall. There is also a celebration hall that covers / streches on / spans 437 s-m in addition to 5 conference halls equiped with the latest technology and a cocktail room. The hotel also provides the service of organizing events and catering for celebrations outside the hotel.
All the hotel conference halls are exquisitely equiped with the state-of-the-art technology in this field and it is possible that a number of rooms be merged to host huge conferences.
Being located in the middle of Cairo, the hotel gives an exceptional chance to its visitors and guests to enjoy its streets and historical buildings around the hotel. They can also visit the Egyptian Museum which is within an easy walk distance from the hotel and which gives its visitors the feeling and smell of history and authenticity of the Egyptian civilization.
At the end, do you think the first months of 2017 give us hope to expect greater or better hotel occupancy?
There has been great development in tourism during the first quarter of this year especially in the field of cultural, conference and fairs tourism all of which are the types that have positive effect on the tourist movement and increase the hotel occupancy rate for the hotels especially in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Moreover, many tourist exporting countries have lifted their ban on flights to Egypt which is a great help to increase the tourist movement to the Egyptian tourist destinations.