Egypt targets India, key European markets in tourism push
Dalia Farouk, Wednesday 13 Aug 2014
Tourism ministry grants Indians visas upon arrival and looks to reopen cultural tourism with key European countries


Egypt's tourism ministry says it will initiate an international campaign in October to promote the country's tourism sector, hit hard by three years of political turbulence.



First up is a decision by the foreign ministry to grant Indian tourists visas upon arrival, without having to apply at Egyptian embassies back home, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said at a press conference.



EgyptAir, the national carrier, signed an agreement in July to launch a direct flight line between Cairo and New Delhi, while also adding three new lines to the existing four between Egypt and India.



The airline has previously allowed private airlines to run flights between New Delhi and Cairo to make up for the lack of options between the two cities.



Egypt's tourism ministry says it will also work on reactivating cultural tourism from several European destinations including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Russia – countries which contribute around 70 percent of the country's tourism.



"We have convinced tour operators to direct their flights to Egypt in the middle of the tourism season," said Zaazou, adding that the tourism sector is still facing "unprecedented challenges."



Tourists visiting Egypt in June declined 20.5 percent as compared to the same period the year before, according to the ministry's latest report.



Egypt's tourism revenue sank by 41 percent to LE41.3 billion ($5.9 billion) in 2013 as compared to the previous year.

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