Towards greater diversity in tourism

Safeya Mounir , Tuesday 29 Mar 2022

Egypt is launching a set of promotional campaigns in different tourism markets to make up for the loss of Russian and Ukrainian visitors.

Towards greater diversity in tourism

Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority (TDA) has embarked on promotional campaigns in different markets as part of a move meant to increase the number of tourists visiting Egypt and make up for the loss of Ukrainian tourists and some 50 per cent of Russian tourists as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Taken together, Russian and Ukrainian tourists make up one-third of Egypt’s market.

The campaigns focus on traditional markets, especially those that are easing travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as Italy and France, said Amr Al-Kadi, head of the TDA.

Egypt’s “Follow the Sun” campaign on social media in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and the US runs through May this year. If successful, it will be extended for a further period, Al-Kadi said.

The European tourist market has not been affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he told Al-Ahram Weekly, adding that European tour operators have been most concerned by the regularity of flights to Egypt.

Tourist numbers from Germany and the UK have not decreased due to the war in Ukraine, he said. However, cancellations have been reported from countries whose flights pass over Russian or Ukrainian air space, such as Serbia and Belarus.

It is difficult to tell whether the lower numbers of tourists from Eastern Europe is due to the war in Ukraine or the Covid-19 pandemic, Al-Kadi said.

The campaigns were initially planned to target the Ukrainian and Russian markets, but the conflict led to postponed participation in travel shows in the two countries. “We are taking it easy in these two markets. The coronavirus pandemic has taught us a great deal about dynamics and tactics,” A-Kadi said.

The overall campaign is designed to address each country individually using social-media platforms based on age groups. “Young people are more inclined to use Snapchat and TikTok, while the older generations are more attracted to Facebook,” he explained, preferring not to disclose the budget allocated.

Egypt is also planning to launch a tourist campaign targeting the Arab world, including countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq and using satellite TV channels and social-media outlets to reach consumers this summer.

Spending on the campaign will be 25 per cent higher than it was in 2021, Al-Kadi said.

He added that the close proximity between Egypt and the Arab countries targeted in the campaign is a great advantage. Direct flights between Saudi Arabia and Sharm El-Sheikh have helped to increase the number of Saudi visitors to the Red Sea resort city, for example, he pointed out.

Egypt will be taking part in Seatrade Cruise Global, an international event dedicated to marine and cruise tourism, taking place in Miami, Florida, in late April, according to Al-Kadi.

During the show, films will be shown on Egypt’s coastlines and marine activities, with this being a way of paying more attention to the nautical tourism that the country will promote in southern Europe and the Middle East.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 31 March, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

Short link: