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Egypt launches aggressive marketing campaign

Its campaign will target the UK market, which dropped 5% last year.

"Egypt has invested in an aggressive promotional campaign in the UK & Ireland to promote the country as an attractive and safe destination," said Omayma El Husseini, ETA's director of UK & Ireland.

"The UK was only down by 5% in terms of tourist arrivals in 2013, demonstrating that the British market has a resilient passion for all that Egypt has to offer.

"2014 is a key year for all Egyptians who are looking towards political stability, security and the enhancement of the livelihoods of the country's population."

He said since the UK Foreign Office lifted its ban on some areas, tourist officials have been busy exploring long term initiatives to provide an "enhanced and safe" tourist experience.

"While there have been incidents in Cairo, they have been in Cairo alone. With the exception of North Sinai, the remainder of Egypt is a safe destination for tourists to travel to, explore and enjoy," said El Husseini.

"Specifically, this includes measures such as upgrading infrastructure, enhancing road security by training tourist bus drivers, and providing extensive training programmes to all levels of staff in the tourism sector."

Stephen Banks, director of sales and marketing for Africa for hotel chain Movenpick, said he believes tourism in Egypt will start to recover at the end of this year.

Movenpick has 10 hotels in Egypt, including one in the Red Sea and one near the Pyramids, and also operates eight boats on the Nile.

"Since January 2011 it's been a rocky road and business has dropped off massively," he said.

"Generally the Red Sea has come back very quickly and visitors are quite resilient, but we're still seeing occupancies of 55%-65%, when we would normally expect 85%."

He said the recovery would largely depend on operators, whose decisions over flight capacity impacts hotel occupancy and rates.

"I think the Red Sea and the classical Egypt business will come back in the fourth quarter, when the next peak season starts," he said.

www.travelmole.com

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