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Egyptian Tourism Authority reports successful World Travel Market for 2016

Egyptian Tourism Authority at WTM
The Egyptian Tourism Authority has declared their attendance at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London to be a resounding success, with an award-winning stand, a well-attended press conference and a continuous stream of positive meetings with trade buyers and media.

Press Conference, Day 1 of WTM
More than 80 media attended a press conference on the first day of WTM to hear the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Mr Yehia Rashed, declare Egypt safe and open for business. The message from Mr Rashed, His Excellency Ambassador Nasser Kamel, the Governor of South Sinai, Mr Khaled Fouda and other tourism ministers was that Egypt is well prepared to welcome tourists back.

Their comments were backed by TV presenter and former British Deputy Conservative Party leader Michael Portillo, who said Egypt was the most impressive place he has been to yet.

“It’s the antiquity of the civilisation, the quality and what’s left of it. From the pyramids and great temples to the Nile and the Valley of the Kings and Queens. And that’s just ancient Egypt. Then there’s the Greeks, Romans and Coptic,” he said. Portillo, who presents a travelogue series for the BBC called Great Continental Railway Journeys, said he would like to film a journey through Egypt. “It’s certainly on my bucket list,” he said.

Trade and media were invited to the Egypt stand for lunch after the press conference for the opportunity to network and meet the Egyptian travel industry delegates.

Award-winning stand and busy on-stand events
The stand for the Egyptian Tourism Authority was home to 51 delegates from Egypt’s tourism industry including hotels and resorts, tour companies, airlines, Nile cruises,  and tourism boards . The delegates said there was good interest from buyers and media interested in visiting the destination.

The stand’s popularity gained the attention of judges from WTM who awarded the Egyptian Tourism Authority an award for Best Stand for Doing Business.

The judges acknowledged that this has been a difficult year for tourism confidence in the destination and the large stand with a staircase leading through a faux temple to meeting rooms helped address this. “They’re wanting to do business and you can see this,” said Beryl Preuschmann, one of the judges.   

Reaching digital influencers and bloggers
Bloggers, digital influencers and press were invited to the Egypt stand on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons for prize draw competitions. One of the winning bloggers was Kirstie Pelling from the Family Adventure Project (www.familyadventureproject.org), who won flights for two to Egypt, courtesy of Egyptair, and seven nights' accommodation at the Marriott Red Sea Resort Hurghada. Kirstie Pelling was also voted Travel Blogger of the Year at the Guild of British Travel Writers Travel Awards held at the Savoy London on Sunday night.  

More than 80 bloggers and press were also invited to a Bloggers Event in Shoreditch on Wednesday evening, where EgyptAir and accommodation partners presented prize trips to Egypt and  encouraged major bloggers to visit Egypt this winter. More than 1.5 million British visitors came to Egypt in 2010. Last year it was 870,000 and this year it’s expected to be down by 76% to less than 300,000 visitors.  Despite this, Egypt is confident of growth in 2017 with Thomas Cook, Thomson, Easyjet, British Airways and Egyptair flying every week to Egypt.

Rasha Azaizi, UK director of the Egyptian State Tourist Office in London, said: “We have been humbled and immensely encouraged by the huge level of support we have received from the British travel industry and media at this year’s WTM. While we know there are still challenges to overcome to build our recovery, we are positive we can achieve this with the help of our travel industry partners.”

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