Egypt allocates $50 million to revive tourism: official
Tourists at Giza pyramids - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt allocated $50 million of the general budget of the fiscal year 2014-2015 to fund a worldwide tourism promotion campaign in a bid to revive Egypt’s flagging tourism sector, a ministry official told Anadolu Agency Wednesday.

The allocation will be directed to an intense advertisement campaign among countries with the highest rates of travelers to Egypt including Russia, Germany, Poland, the U.K., and Italy, the official said. The campaign will be launched starting in Jan. 2015.

The campaign will include outdoor advertisements on major roads, squares, and means of transportation in several European countries. It will also include TV advertisements and e- marketing through Google.

The Tourism Ministry adopted a strategy for the ongoing fiscal year based on the rationalization of expenditure either by reducing Egypt’s tourism promotion offices abroad or lessening the ministry’s participation in international tourism exhibitions, the official added.

Sixteen countries issued an advisory warning against travel to Egypt following the bombing of a tourist bus that killed four people in the Sinai Peninsula in February.

The European market represents 72 percent of Egypt’s tourism, according to Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou’s statement.

Despite ongoing campaigns to assure foreigners that Egypt is a safe destination, the tourism sector has been facing a real crisis through a constant decline since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. This January 25 Revolution then worsened financial and organizational problems.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped a significant 27 percent in February, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). The losses in the sector are estimated at $6.8 billion during the past three years and tourism revenue fell to $5.9 billion in 2013, down 41 percent from 2012.

Egypt depends on tourism for around 20 percent of its hard currency. The sector’s total investments are valued at $9.8 billion, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

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