When Egyptian Tourism Minister Hashim Zazou attended the World Travel Market in London earlier this month, his message was clear: Certain parts of Egypt are seeing increase in visitors this year, but destinations like Aswan and Luxor are still struggling to lure tourists back.
A recent report in the Financial Times stated that tourist arrivals have shot up nearly 70 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, and arrivals in September increased 193 percent compared with the same month in 2013, with 884,000 arrivals compared with 301,000.
These are all good news, but having been to Egypt just this past year and having seen the desperation among Egyptians who depend on travel and tourism for their daily sustenance was profoundly moving. Egypt is a destination where the impact of the trickle down effect of a thriving travel and tourism industry on local people is evident. Simply put, no tourists equals no income for a lot of Egyptians.
This is why I have always been an ardent supporter of Egypt Tourism even before my trip to Egypt last year. Thankfully, major stakeholders in travel and tourism such as World Travel & Tourism Council Chief Executive David Scowsill and United Nations World Tourism Organization secretary-general Taleb Rifai share the same sentiment. Their influence is palpable, as other major players are also speaking up and showing their support for Egypt. Among them is the chief executive officer and president of The Travel Corporation (TTC), Brett Tollman. TTC in June of this year had announced its plans to resume operations in Egypt for the 2014/2015 season as a “show of support for the Egyptian people.”
I took the opportunity to speak with Mr. Tollman in Lima, Peru, during the last Americas regional summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council to discuss his company’s decision to return to Egypt. Our interview is now being presented as part of our first ever eTN 2.0 Podcast. To listen to the Podcast via an RSS Reader, click on the link below this article
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