Egypt ministry of tourism is setting up a new convention centre in Alexandria, the first in the city. The convention centre which is expected to be ready in two years, will be able to seat around 1000 people. Speaking exclusively to Financial Express Online, Dr Adel Masry, director, Egyptian Tourism Office, said, “The project will be on the BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis. Egypt already convention centres in Cairo and Luxor. The MICE segment is very important for us and we want to attract more MICE events to Egypt. Luxor has 1500 rooms, Cairo has 3000 and Sharm el Sheikh has 2500 rooms. We are also looking at inviting Indian hotel companies like the Taj Group of Hotels to invest in Egypt."
Egypt Tourism is also planning a promotional campaign specifically for the India market. Dr Masry revealed, "Earlier we had one campaign for all the markets. But now we will have one only for India where we will use well known Indian film celebrities. This promotional campaign will be executed in two phases. We will invest half a million USD in the first phase and one million USD in the second phase. The first phase is expected to roll out by March 2014."
Egypt Tourism will also focus on new products like honeymoon packages, adventure sports like trekking, scuba diving and desert safari's. "We are also looking to promote oases as destinations and as movie locale. Like Sewa one of the four most important oases in Egypt, " Dr Masry added.
Recently in Luxor, 13 travel agents and tour operators from India and the Egypt ministry of tourism signed an MoU to initiate The Million Indian Tourists campaign which will run for two years from September 2014 to September 2017. The initiative will be a threefold joint promotion by the Egypt ministry of tourism, Egyptian tour operators and Indian tour operators. Egypt Tourism will support them by funding 25 per cent of their promotional spending. Some of the Indian tour operators who signed the MoU included Cox and Kings, Thomas Cook, Mercury Travels, Kuoni India, Kesari Tours, Veena World, etc. As part of the initiative the Egypt ministry of tourism has announced the launch of visa on arrival facility with effect from January 1, 2014 for Indian tourists who will come through the travel agents who have signed the MoU. The ministry also announced plans to start direct flights between Delhi and Cairo in January 2014 and depending on the load factors will look at flights from other Indian metros and also code sharing with Indian airline companies.