An international marketing campaign is necessary for Egypt as it needs an international presence, Elhamy El-Zayat, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) told Daily News Egypt.
El-Zayat, who said the country had been almost absent in the last three years on the international scene, insisted that it “is a very much needed step for Egypt”.
On Thursday, the Tourism Activation Authority will select an international company specialised in the promotion and public relations fields to promote Egyptian tourism in 26 foreign markets. Four companies are the finalists in the tender, and have been named as JWT, Saatchi & Saatchi, Memac and Team/Young, according to Ahmed Ahmadi, Deputy Chairman of the Tourism Activation Authority.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism Khaled Rami previously stated that the promotional campaign will be conducted by the winning company for a period of three years, and will cost between $42m and $126m annually.
Egypt needs to market itself to all international markets using different approaches. One of the most significant types of tourism that the country needs to highlight is cultural tourism, which is available in Cairo as well as Luxor and Aswan, according to El-Zayat.
“For sure, tourists visiting the Red Sea governorate and Sinai are important for the country. Cultural tourists, however, are more important as they use more domestic services, whether local transportation, visiting museums or buying from local bazaars,” he added.
He further noted that cultural tourism will attract tourists mainly from France, the US, Canada, the UK and Italy, amongst others.
The Ministry of Tourism will give more attention to cultural tourism in the upcoming period, as it has dedicated 25% of the promotional budget to the sector, El-Zayat said.
The ministry launched its plans for an integrated public relations strategy campaign in early 2015. In March, the ministry stated that an international tender for
companies specialised in promotional campaigns will be launched. On 1 April, a session for companies’ inquiries was held at the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Promotion. The deadline for tender submissions was 31 May, where technical envelopes were also opened.
Throughout 2014 and during the first few months of 2015, several tourism marketing campaigns were launched to attract Arab tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism has previous experience with promotional campaigns. In April 2014, a campaign named “Wahshtona” (We have missed you) was launched, targeting tourists from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. Former tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said the campaign resulted in a 149.4% increase in the number of tourists from these countries, between July and December 2014.
Another campaign, “Masr Orayeba” (Egypt is close), included a five-minute song encouraging Arab tourists to visit Egypt, and featured many Egyptian actors and actresses. The campaign was launched earlier this year.
In October 2014, the Ministry of Tourism intensified its marketing campaigns in the main markets exporting tourism to Egypt, using Facebook and approximately 2,000 bloggers. Zaazou said that previous marketing and promotional campaigns did not utilise an internet presence to attract new categories of travellers to Egypt, particularly those from younger age groups.
In 2014, the Ministry of Tourism also signed a contract with Hill & Knowlton Strategies for a period of six months, to push for arrivals during the following winter season in five different European markets.