Tourism arrivals rocket in Egypt

A combination of aggressive marketing and global politics has contributed to Egypt’s most successful summer of tourism yet, despite recent terrorist attacks that have rocked the country.

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By  Gemma Hornett Published  September 4, 2006

A combination of aggressive marketing and global politics has contributed to Egypt’s most successful summer of tourism yet, despite recent terrorist attacks that have rocked the country. Egypt’s highly successful advertising campaign, Nawart Masr (You Light Up Egypt), last month’s Egypt Tourism and Shopping Festival 2006, and an influx of last-minute tourists who have opted for Egypt instead of war-torn Lebanon, have all contributed to Egypt’s tourism boom. “Cairo remains the busiest route from Dubai by volume and we are seeing more short breaks, thanks to the increasing number of flights in and out of the UAE,” said Munir Sherwani, manager, Al Rais Holidays, Dubai. “The Sharjah-Sharm El Sheikh flights on Air Arabia are going fully booked and interest in Alexandria is growing.” According to figures published by the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) Information Centre, Egypt attracted 831,195 Middle East visitors in the first six months of 2006, compared to 721,854 during the same period in 2005, representing a 29.9% increase. Of those visitors, 139,917 were from Saudi Arabia, 8000 more than the previous year. KSA is Egypt’s biggest regional market, and the fourth biggest overall source market, after Germany, the UK and Italy. Inbound tourists from the UAE increased by 18.3% during the six-month period, with 15,396 visitors arriving in June alone. A further 8922 arrivals hailed from Qatar. The Nawart Masr advertising campaign, which has targeted Arab visitors by highlighting the similarities between Egypt and its Arab neighbours in the Middle East and North Africa, has played a major role in driving recent tourism growth, according to H.E. Zoheir Garannah, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. “Egypt’s familiarity helps to make it especially hospitable for Arabs, many of whom seek the comfort of an Arabic-language setting,” he said.

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