Mumbai: Egyptian Tourism kick started its multi-city roadshow in India on 23 July at St. Regis Mumbai. The roadshow will end on 27 July in Kochi. Travel trade professionals from India will meet their counterparts from Egypt to explore opportunities for cooperation and to extend their knowledge about the uniqueness and variety Egypt offers visitors.

A corporate MICE workshop involving MICE Experts from Egypt Tourism, Egyptian DMCs & Hotels and the Indian corporates and a Film Workshop engaging Film & Entertainment Producers of India are being held. In 2016, Egyptian Tourism roadshow was held in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. Last year, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata were tapped. This year the intent is to engage with travel tour operators in Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

“Christian pilgrims are our prime target this year and so Kochi has replaced Delhi on our roadshow itinerary”, informs Ismail A Hamid Amer, Regional Director and Egyptian Tourism Counsellor. “That apart cultural tours and MICE are the other two segments we are focussing in India”.

Egypt hopes to touch 1,30,000-1,40,000 Indian visitors by the end of 2018. With Egypt Air flying four times weekly between Mumbai and Cairo, and all GCC airlines offering excellent connectivity via their respective hubs, Egypt is certain to grow its FTAs from India. An E-learning program is on now for three months specifically for Indian travel agents.

The United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation ranked Egypt the second-fastest growing tourist destination of 2017. Egypt as a destination is great if one wants to visit historical places and still spend some time by the beach (Red Sea). In June this year Egypt launched e-Visa Service on a trial basis for 46 countries across Americas, Asia and Europe including the UK. India is not part of the program though visa on arrival for groups is available and helpful for growing the MICE segment.

According to the last survey conducted in 2015, the India market was performing at second spot as far as individual spend by a tourist was concerned. At $102 per pax per night, Indians were spending only less than the Japanese at $150. Length of Stay (LoS) of Indian travellers has also been growing – 7 nights in 2017 from 5.5 in 2016.

Egypt has been promoting film tourism in India for some time now but with great caution.“We are not offering a general scheme of subsidies or tax rebates. We go case by case. Most of the time the demands made by film production houses are irrational and make no case for tourism. Our incentive package includes air tickets, logistics, discounted shooting permissions etc.” adds Ismail. “We are exploring the idea of a celebrity brand ambassador in India”.

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