CAIRO: Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou will begin Monday a “door-to-door” campaign to try and increase the number of inbound tourists coming from three Arab countries to Egypt, according to Youm7.
Zaazou is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait on his tour, which comes as part of a promotional campaign supporting inter-Arab tourism, especially from North African Arab countries and Persian Gulf Arab countries.
Launched last week, the campaign “This is Egypt” aims to boost the flow of Arab tourists to Egypt, who represent 20 percent of the country’s inbound tourists every year, said Zaazou during the launching event on Thursday.
In 2014, 1.6 million Arab tourists visited Egypt, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). The plans include special travel packages with competitive prices for Arab tourists.
The campaign is believed to be a bid to restore the sector to its previous levels after being dramatically affected by political turmoil during the past four years.
It also comes at a time where Russia, the biggest tourists’ exporter to Egypt, has withdrawn its nationals from the country following a deadly Russian plane crash over Sinai that took place in October and is largely believed to have been bombed by militants in northern peninsula.
As part of the campaign, Zaazou is going to contact some countries to negotiate their decisions to suspend flights to Egypt. Several suspensions took place following the October crash.
He also has plans for visits to some Eastern European countries, China and Arab Maghreb countries.
Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
Despite a few instances of apparent recovery, instability and political turmoil continue to challenge the sector.
A total of 9.9 million tourists came to Egypt in 2014, making a 4.4 percent increase, compared to 9.5 million in 2013, according to CAPMAS.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 9 percent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year.