Egypt voted best destination by travel writers


Gurgaon : Egypt has been voted the “perfect holiday destination” by the Pacific Area Travel Writer’s Association (PATWA) and tourism publication Safari India at a tourism conclave here.

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Director of Egyptian Tourism Office in India, Adel El Masary, was Wednesday evening honoured with a prize for the best tourism director from overseas while Egypt was described by Safari India as the “right mix of entertainment, leisure, business” preferred by the globe-trotting businessperson and the corporate Indian traveller.

“Such recognitions always encourage us to offer more and more to the Indian market. For the north African nation India is prime tourism market and we are always looking for opportunities to attract Indian tourists to Egypt,” he said.

The focus in 2010, he said, was to promote “the famous Luxor and Nile cruises”.

“Luxor city is known as an open air museum with rich heritage,” he said. Located in upper or southern Egypt, Luxor comprises the main city on the east bank of the Nile, the historic town of Karnak on the north of the river and the Waset on its west bank.

The city, with a population of 487,896, houses almost all modern amenities like nightclubs, spas and restaurants as well as traditional souks and ancient monuments.

It is known for the “West Bank Necropolis that includes Valley of the Kings and the Queens”.

Citing figures to establish the importance of India as an inbound market for Egypt, Masary said: “Egypt had hosted close to 99,000 Indian tourists in 2009, an increase of 11 percent compared to 2008.”

“In the first quarter of 2010, Egypt has drawn 34,447 Indian tourists, registering a growth of 37.8 percent over the corresponding period last year,” he added.

“People in India still view Egypt as a pyramid culture product. My strategy is to promote Egypt in India as a ‘product of yesterday, today and tomorrow’,” Masary said.

“I am trying to develop it as a wellness and water sport destination for the new segment of Indian travellers. Nearly 40 percent outbound tourists from India head to Egypt for both long and short holidays,” he added.

The Egyptian tourism department plans to sell the country as a honeymoon destination in India.

Outlining his promotion blueprint, Masary said: “He was exploring the possibility of joint tourism campaigns with tour operators in India, familiarisation trips and an advertisement blitz in the media.”

The tourism office has moved airline companies to sponsor lucky tickets for a travel promotion campaign in India.

“Egypt shares similarities with India. I want to build on it to win over the Indian outbound market that has of late become very important,” he said.