Avanti Destinations, the tour operator which sells exclusively through travel advisors, has started offering custom FIT and group travel to Egypt, which is currently open to American tourists.
A new 52-page e-brochure “Essence of Egypt 2021-2022,” designed to be shared with clients, is available on the tour operator’s agent portal.
The e-brochure provides advice on travel times within Egypt, options for meeting visa requirements, and descriptions of the new products: five customizable vacations, six destinations, 19 hotels, and 38 experiences and activities, in addition to 11 different four- and five-star luxury ships for three- to 12-night Nile cruises on four routes.
Avanti said in the past few years it has received many requests to add this destination for both independent and custom group travel. Because it is now open to U.S. tourists, it’s the perfect time for advisors to sell the destination, according to said Avanti’s CEO, Paul Barry.
“We are optimistic about international travel this year: people are getting vaccinated worldwide, and there is enormous pent-up demand for travel,” Barry said. “If I were to speculate from the position we are in today, I would expect booking levels by the end of the first quarter will be 20% of what they were in 2019, 60% by the end of the second quarter, a full 100% for the third quarter, and 125% for the fourth quarter. It is an enormous ramp up in business levels, and we expect to be getting back to 2019 staff levels during the 3rd quarter of this year.”
Egyptian destinations offered by Avanti include: Cairo; Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great and today the nation’s second largest city; Luxor, on the site of ancient Thebes; Aswan, the location of Abu Simbel, the massive twin temples built by Ramses the Great which were relocated before the Aswan Dam flooded the original location; the traditional Berber oasis of Siwa, known primarily as the site of the Temple of the Oracle of Amun; and the modern resort town of Hurghada on the Red Sea.
Almost all of the 38 new activities and experiences are private, from private tours of pyramids, sphinxes, temples and the new Grand Egyptian Museum (slated to open this year) to a private dinner in a local Cairo home. Avanti also offers sound & light shows with private transfers at various monuments and temples, private bird watching tour around the Nile’s Cataract Islands, private sunset desert safari by 4 x 4 to a hot and cold spring, and more. All private tours and excursions include a local English-speaking tour guide, and for tours of ancient monuments the guide is an Egyptologist.
Egypt is the latest addition to Avanti’s destination lineup in North Africa and the Middle East. The company has been selling FIT and custom group travel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai for several years, and added Morocco in late 2019, in response to requests from travel advisors.
The five new customizable vacations are the eight-night Best of Egypt, featuring Cairo and four-night Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan; 11-night Treasures of the Nile, with a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan on a historic, five-star deluxe steamship; 10-day Ancient Lands of Egypt nights in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan; 11-night Grand Tour of Egypt in Cairo, Alexandria, the oasis city of Siwa, and four-night cruise between Luxor and Aswan; and nine-night Egypt Sand & Sea in Cairo, the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, and three-night Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan.