With the recent political turmoil hitting the tourism sector, Egypt has lined up a number of promotional and branding activities to regain its image and boost tourism.
The country will adopt a three-pronged strategy to attract more tourists - through tour operators, media and airlines. It would also double its budget on advertising and marketing this year (its year starts from July) from the current $400,000, said Adel El Masry, director of Egypt Tourism Authority in India.
“We will invest more in joint campaigning with tour operators and add more airlines and new destinations. Along with this, we will also conduct a series of promotional activities, events, exhibitions and trade fairs,” he added.
The uprising in January this year had emptied hotels, casinos and bars and saw a 40 per cent decline in tourist arrivals. The sector's contribution to the gross domestic product declined to 11.2 per cent this year, from 11.5 per cent ($ 12.5 billion in 2010) last year.
With the theme, ‘Let’s visit Egypt- Egypt is safe’, the country is promoting itself as a safe tourism destination. Of the 14.7 million tourists who visited Egypt last year, around 70 per cent came from Europe and 18 per cent from Arabian countries. It expects this number to grow to 25 million by 2020.
Masry said Asian countries, especially India, was growing in terms of its outbound tourists. “This year, we would focus more on Asian countries.”
Indian tourists in Egypt have been growing at 30 per cent over the last few years. Last year 114,000 Indians visited Egypt. A lot of Indian films are also being shot in Egypt including Singh is King.
“We are currently in discussion with some of the film producers to shoot films in Egypt and are in the process of assigning another brand ambassador for the Indian market,” he said. Bollywood actress Celina Jaitley is now the brand ambassador for Egypt tourism.
Along with the historical, heritage, and cultural destination, Egypt is promoting itself as a destination for wellness, religious, cruise travel and MICE (meeting, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions).