Until 31 October 2015 tourism in Egypt was going according to plan. But since a chartered Russian airliner came down that same day, presumably the victim of an ISIS attack, everything has changed. Not much later, all flights between UK airports and Sharm el-Sheikh were grounded, and not long afterwards Russia even halted all flights to Egypt. This was a massive blow for the tourism industry of a country which until then had welcomed three million Russians and one million Britons every year. “However, every challenge demands a solution“, said Egypt’s Tourism Minister H.E. Hisham Zazou, speaking on Thursday at ITB Berlin. Egypt had decided to respond with pragmatic and practical measures in order to handle the situation and had reacted quickly, even though the country was stable and secure, he added.
In the meantime Control Risks, a company of global repute, has been tasked with thoroughly checking Egypt’s airport security and making improvements. “This is not because we believe our airports to be unsafe, rather we want them to achieve the best possible standard, the gold standard in terms of security, so to speak“, said H.E. Hisham Zazou. By April, Control Risks will have finished their job. An advisory board including representatives of leading European airports will supervise the implementation of suggested measures. “We want to win back trust and show that we are taking care of the safety and health of our visitors“, said H.E. Hisham Zazou.
The minister noted that according to the latest US market research surveys, most people agreed that Egypt was a destination everyone had to visit at least once in their lifetime. Over the next few months an offensive would be launched to promote the country’s attractions. This would focus on four main regions: the Nile Valley, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the western desert. Since February, taking ’This is Egypt’ as its slogan, a marketing campaign has been under way targeting several core markets, among them Germany.
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Ms. Philine von Hardenberg
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