CAIRO: Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou inaugurated Tuesday Egypt’s stand in the International French Travel Market (IFTM-Top Resa) held in Paris Sep. 23-26, said Nahed Rizk, Head of Egypt’s Tourism Promotion Authority office in Paris.
“Egypt’s participation in the IFTM aims to encourage the top French tour operators and travel experts to resume their operations to Egypt during the 2014-2015 winter season and to raise the number of French travelers to Egypt to the rates seen before the January 25 Revolution,” Rizk told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
Zaazou’s visit to France ends a multi-country tour he started Thursday in Europe to Italy and Germany to promote the country’s ailing tourism sector in preparation for the start of the cultural tourism high season that spans from October through April.
Europe accounts for 72 percent of annual incoming tourism to Egypt, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.
In 2010, France provided the 5th-highest number of tourists visiting Egypt but during the past 4 years, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10, according to Rizk.
“Bookings of British, German and Belgium travelers to Egypt have notably increased during the past few months while the French market seems to have not recovered yet,” Rizk added.
During his visit, Zaazou is scheduled to meet with Enrico Macias, the renowned French singer to invite him to visit Egypt and hold two concerts in Cairo and Alexandria, according to Rizk.
He is also scheduled to meet with French journalists and top tour operators to promote tourism in Egypt, she added.
“Egypt’s stand in the IFTM compasses leading Egyptian tour operators, travel experts and airline carriers providing unrivalled travel packages at reasonable prices,” Rizk said.
Established in 1978, IFTM-Top Resa, a global event for the French tourism market first held in Deauville, was moved to Paris in 2008 and became a business to business travel market featuring leisure travel, event management and business travel. In 2013, the event recorded an attendance of 30,000 travel professionals.