How Cairo can be a top spa destination

How Cairo can be a top SPA destination?

Hammam, an ancient term that means bath or spa. Hammam was a very common place in Egypt where people from every social class in Egypt go for recreation since ancient Egypt till nowadays. Nevertheless, all we can find are just ruins that had been renovated many times since the year 18 AD to be used by the public.
What makes is significant is that all old hammam’s have an ancient appeal with an authentic atmosphere which can be utilized as a tourist spa and surely it will find a huge demand after conducting adequate marketing campaign and hiring a famous experienced spa brands to operate each location.

Let’s take samples of these hamma’s where tourists can feel the heritage and sense the authenticity which will make Cairo a top Spa destination.

Hammam Al Sharaybi
This hammam was constructed during the rule of Sultan Qonsua El Ghouri in 1500 AD and located in El Ghouria area. Mohamed Dada Al Sharaybi (Moroccan origin) was the owner of this hammam. (see the pictures)

Hammam Beshtak
Constructed during the Mamluki era by prince Bishtak Al Nasiri in 1341 AD and located in Souk El Selah (The Arms Market).

Hammam Al Moayedi
Constructed by Sultan Muayad Sheikh Al Mahmoudi during the Mamluki era. The situation of this hammam is very deteriorated and there’s no sufficient data about it. (see the pictures)

Hammam Inal
Constructed by Sultan Inal and located in El Moez Street, the oldest street in Cairo. (see the pictures)

There are more hammam’s that were constructed during the Ottoman empire.

Hammam El malatili
Constructed in 1194 AD known as hammam al ghamri and located in Margoush street in old Cairo.

Hammam El Sokareya
Since 18 AD since then it had been renovated many times, the most recent was by a lady called Nafisa Al Baydaa.

Hammam El Tomboli
Since 18 AD since then it had been renovated many times. It’s located in Bab El Shaereya area and it’s still in function till now.

Hammam El Adawy
Since 19 AD and located in Al Bab Al Akhdar area.

All of these hammam’s have been used for many occasions such as birthday parties, bachelor parties, religious and public holidays …. etc.

I’m writing this article with a great hope that we can rejuvenate this beautiful heritage and use it again as a great source of income and entertainment.

Pictures and historical information courtesy of Karim Badr

Interact with me through twitter @EhabMalek

Egyptian tourism development between destination management and conspiracy theory

Right after the Egyptian revolution on January 25th and during the (Arab Spring), all travel and tourism practitioners in Egypt were so ambitious and optimistic about the near future of tourism in Egypt. Later on, there was an obvious deterioration in the political situation which affected the travel and tourism sector negatively. On the other hand, some statistics were being published highlighting slight increase in inbound tourism. We can’t deny these statistics but i assume that these statistics comprehend all the inbound population including refugees and foreign students in Egyptian universities which is not a small number. To cut it short, the situation wasn’t good and still. But the question is: is it the political situation in Egypt or in the Middle East is the only challenge facing the Egyptian travel and tourism sector? is there a way to develop this sector as it was the second major source of foreign currency? 

During the regime of Muslim Brotherhood under the rule of past president Mohamed Morsy, there was a rumor that Muslim Brotherhood are intending to sell the Giza Plateau where the three pyramids and sphinx are located. I decided to investigate about this incident and gathered details about the presence of such an initiative. It was such a pity to come out with a conclusion that i was hoping long time ago. The regime was looking for a destination management agency to handle the major touristic sites in Egypt. I’m not defending the Muslim Brotherhood but I admit that this initiative would be the strongest tool of developing the travel and tourism sector in Egypt.

What’s destination management and how can it enhance tourism ?
Destination management refers to the activity of handling either a tourist site or the whole destination in terms of operations, security, transportation, tour guidance, marketing … etc. A Destination Management Agency is an entity that is being outsourced by the authorities to handle the tourist sites or destinations in terms of operations, security, transportation, tour guidance, marketing … etc. as mentioned before. Upon contracting, this destination management agency will be bind and entitled to achieve specific targets in the development of the tourist site or destination proven by statistics and figures against an income in shape of fees, commission, BOT or share in the income.

So, why is it important to apply the concept of destination management?
Firstly, the destination management agency or entity can be established by authorities or in can be outsourced as a pre-established foreign or local destination management agency.
Still, why is it important? according to me observation as a travel and tourism practitioner for 17 years, and by having experience in operating during crisis time and turmoils, security is not the only factor affecting tourism in any destination and the proof is that we can witness highly developed destinations in tourism that are also facing security challenges. The main factor is Competition. Yes competition. Tourist destinations compete aggressively by enhancing tourism sectors and services applied. Destination management agencies are also responsible for security, so they provide the adequate number, qualification and facilitation or personnel and equipment to apply the highest possible level or security. Moreover, comfort, entertainment, assistance, food and beverage and many other factors can be provided by destination management agencies and reduce the burden on the government or authorities.

In conclusion, destination management is not risky for any country and its monuments and valuables. Many developed countries depend on destination management agencies and they perform perfectly. Let’s set aside conspiracy theory and think properly in order to rise up with our country and our travel sector in Egypt.

Interact with me through twitter: @EhabMalek