Last week, USAID started collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to brand Historic Cairo as part of the USAID-funded Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism (IMCT) Activity.
The USAID-IMCT activity will assist with the development of marketing concepts and strategies for cultural tourism to the heritage sites of Historic Cairo and Luxor.
Historic Cairo has been considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. Historic Cairo refers to Islamic, Coptic and Old Cairo, stretching all the way from the Mamalek Cemeteries down to El-Moez Street, and includes all the buildings and monuments within this area.
"Branding in Egypt has already started, as you see the government has already started [branding] Luxor as a destination, and they did a good job. Since we are working in Historic Cairo, the government has assigned us to take the lead in supporting them to develop the brand of Historic Cairo," Oliver Messmer, head of Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism USAID, told Ahram Online, adding that when developing a brand, the most important thing is the process.
"And this is the objective of today's activity, which is to come up with a process to be as participative as possible. What I have realized out of experience is that the variety of persons that you can bring in the branding exercise is the key to the successful band. There are three types of stake holders: the government…, the private sector in terms of travel trade and investors in the area, and finally and most importantly the people of the area, and we are very lucky to have them in the room. We believe that the process will be successful," he added.
When asked if the historic cemeteries of Cairo will be part of the branding process, Messmer explained that "it will be part of the bigger picture since it falls into the premises of Historic Cairo, which stretches to include El-Moez Street, all the way down to the area in which we are working, which is El-Darb El-Ahmar," he concluded.