Luxor's skyline adorned with 53 hot air balloons each hosting 1,280 tourists

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Feb 2024

Luxor's skies were embellished with 53 hot air balloons on Sunday, each carrying a total of 1,280 tourists from various nationalities, said Ahmed Aboud, a representative of the Egyptian Federation of Hot Air Ballooning Companies in Luxor, according to MENA news agency.

hot air balloons
Hot air balloons fly over the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. AP


Aboud also highlighted the popularity of hot air balloon rides among tourists, emphasizing their significance as a preferred means to explore monuments and archaeological sites in the renowned tourist destination.

He underscored the meticulous attention to safety protocols, which are implemented in close collaboration with security authorities in the Upper Egyptian governorate.

Nestled amid the captivating Karnak and Luxor temple complexes, along with the illustrious tombs of the Valley of the Kings, hot air ballooning over Luxor — home to a plethora of ancient sites — is a favoured attraction.

Tourists relish the panoramic vista of ancient Egyptian temples and verdant agricultural fields from above.

According to Google searches, Egypt is expected to experience an unprecedented year in terms of tourism in 2024.

Recently, data from trip booking platform Flash Pack, which specializes in trips for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s, have revealed that Egypt ranked third in its list of top 10 most booked destinations for 2024.

Similarly, Egypt was listed in the Lonely Planet travel guide among the Best in Travel 2024, holding onto its sixth-place ranking in the list of Best Value Destinations.

Tourism is one of Egypt’s key sources of foreign currency, along with remittances from Egyptians abroad, the Suez Canal, and foreign direct investments.

In 2023, the number of incoming tourists to Egypt reached a record-breaking 14.9 million.

Egypt aims to attract 30 million tourists annually by 2028, thus doubling the current figure.

The country’s tourism sector received a blow when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020.

In FY2022/23, Egypt's tourism revenues hit a record high of $13.6 billion, up 26.8 percent from $10.7 billion in FY2021/2022, according to data released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




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