Egypt looks beyond pyramids

22 May, 2012
The government of Egypt is looking to promote new destinations, other than the famous Giza Pyramids, to attract more tourists.

The Pyramids of Giza are the most loved possessions of Egypt. Every year, scores of tourists visit the 'Land of Pharaoh' to get the feeling of ancient Egypt. However their number dwindles due to recent political and social turbulence in the country. But now when everything is settled down, the tourism is again back on track.

With visitor numbers to Egypt returning to the pre-revolution levels of 2010, when the country welcomed a record 360,000 US tourists, it is little wonder the Egyptian Tourist Authority’s New York tourism attaché Mohamed Hegazy feels “very optimistic” for 2012.

“We are coming back rapidly in terms of tourist numbers,” Mr Hegazy told e-Travel Blackboard in an interview.

“2010 was the highest number we received - we reached 360,000 US tourists. The highest figure before that was around 187,000 in 2006, so it doubled in four years.”

According to Mr Hegazy, despite the turbulent events of last year, Egypt still brought in around the same number of tourists it had received just four years prior - that is, around 187,000.

“We were relatively pleased to keep more than half of our business in a market that was very touchy about security,” he remarked.

According to figures from the country’s central agency for public mobilisation and statistics, Egypt welcomed some 753,000 visitors in February 2012, compared to the 211,000 who stayed during the height of the civil unrest last February, Gulf media reported.

With visitor numbers again on the rise, Mr Hegazy said now was the time for the country to lure travelers to attractions beyond the Giza Pyramids.

“At the moment we would like to push new experiences to the American tourists, like the Red Sea, the South Sinai for its magnificent beaches, its coral reef and fish,” he told e-Travel Blackboard.

Add to this, the country’s Nile cruises, its black and white deserts, religious attractions (including the oldest mosque and synagogue in Northern Africa), its first-class golf courses, 4wd safaris, and other leisure tourism and business travel offerings and you have a destination that will appeal to any demographic, Mr Hegazy said

Analysis by www.egyptlastminute.com the largest on line travel agency in Egypt states.