Manchester United extend Nigeria's Ighalo loan until January 2021    Trump held call with Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg over protest posts    Samsung to add memory chip line in South Korea as coronavirus boosts demand    Homes Real Estate anticipates EGP 750m sales for developers by year-end    French soccer player apologizes for taking part in a match    Egypt will apply prices control for coronavirus treatment at private hospitals    Pope Tawadros II heads empty mass celebrating entry of Jesus Christ into Egypt    We Are One film festival announces first ever co-curated programme line-up    Zamalek re-hang ‘Real Club of the Century' billboard after removing CAF logo    Egypt's M2 money supply accelerates to 15.62% in April – CBE    China warns US it will retaliate on moves over Hong Kong    Egyptian banks to open until 2pm in light of curfew hours    Spain La Liga announces fixtures as season re-start looms large    KHL Real Estate eyes EGP 2bn sales for developers in 2020    Construction permits temporarily suspended to stimulate sales in new cities    UAE says Israel should back off threat to annex West Bank    Egypt's Dakahlia Governor returns to work after coronavirus recovery    Unrest overshadows peaceful US protests for another night    Egypt names the world's third biggest exporter of dried onions in 2019 – UN data    Egypt's stock exchange incurs losses in May, EGX 30 tumbles 3.16%    Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque reopens on Sunday as coronavirus restrictions ease    Egypt reports highest daily COVID-19 count of 1,536 cases, 46 fatalities    Russia has no objection to earlier OPEC+ meeting -sources    Armed Forces neutralise 19 militants in North Sinai operations    Zayed meets EMS head, pledges to fulfil healthcare workers' demands    Protests escalate as Trump threatens military intervention    Britain has reached 200,000 capacity testing target, says government    One COVID-19 case detected at Red Sea hotel as domestic tourism resumes    Egyptian Football Association to hold meeting for league's future: board member    Nike releases new ad addressing racism in America    Egypt considers 'gradual resumption' of int'l flights in 2nd half of June or 1st half of July: Cabinet spokesman    19 takfiris killed in North Sinai operations, 5 army personnel 'killed or injured': Armed Forces    Al-Sisi, Macron discuss Libya developments, agree on further consultations    In Photos: Remembering Egyptian actress Madiha Yousri    Veteran Hassan Hosny leaves behind 50 year star-studded legacy    Farwell to 89-year old Egyptian actor Hassan Hosny    Louvre, France's most visited museum plans to re-open its doors in early July    'It's like a return to life', despite an empty auditorium: Paris orchestra plays Strauss in COVID-19 era    Ethiopia says it won't accept Egypt's ‘historic rights' to Nile water    Egypt removes 484 illegal constructions and encroachments on Nile    Salah did not pressure administration to include players on team: Ghazal    MACIC celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity with webinar    European football set to restart despite coronavirus    Sisi congratulates Egyptians on occasion of Eid Al-Fitr    Egypt's interior ministry gives gifts to families of policemen killed or injured in the line of duty    Egyptian police kill 21 terrorists who plotted attacks on Eid El-Fitr    Egypt's 12 MPs came into contact with coronavirus infected parliamentarian    iRead launches new activities, competitions to pread the passion for reading    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Lapses in Berlin
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 12 - 04 - 2016

Egypt's participation in ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) Berlin last month exposed shortcomings that the country must fix if tourism is to play its proper role as a major source of hard currency and a pillar of the economy, according to observers. The country's performance at the fair is said to be one of the main reasons behind the recent resignation of former tourism minister Hisham Zazou.
The fair attracted 120,000 commercial visitors and 26,000 ordinary visitors seeking to pick vacation spots, according to the ITB Berlin website. Some 10,000 companies from 187 countries staged exhibitions in 26 convention halls, and 200 agreements were signed at this, the world's biggest tourism fair.
Topics of discussion this year included ideas for internationalising the tourism industry and the digitisation of tourism-related operations. India, for example, announced at the fair that it will begin offering electronic visas. Participants also discussed the opportunities and dangers facing tourism in the light of the current refugee influx to Europe.
Surprisingly, although Egypt was this year's Jubilee Culture Sponsor, the ITB organisers did not include it on the list of the top 50 countries to visit.
Stefan Brie, executive editor of a German news agency, said Egypt did not make a good showing at the fair. “When visitors don't come to you, you must go to them,” he said. Unfortunately, the Egyptian delegation had not learned this lesson and the Egyptian stand was “an island of emptiness in a hall crowded with people”.
“The Egyptians looked lazy, sitting behind their desks and exhibit tables,” Brie said. Egypt managed to reserve a place in the middle of the hall, unlike the Israelis who were stuck out in a corner. But Egypt did not capitalise on its position, and some of the Egyptian journalists with the Egyptian delegation spoke no foreign languages.
An employee of the German tourism sector said that there were clear shortcomings in the preparations made for the Egyptian tourism minister's meetings with airline representatives.
The minister's aides should have made prior arrangements to address the companies' demands, he said, since in the light of a decline in passenger numbers the companies have specific demands such as exemptions for takeoff and landing fees and subsidies based on the number of empty seats on planes.
But instead of talking to the person responsible, the minister was “playing catch up,” filling in missing information and data his assistants should have taken care of. This meant that he had been unable to conclude final deals at many of his meetings, the employee said.
In addition, demands from repeat tour organisers for PR campaigns to promote Egyptian destinations led to arguments, he said. This prompted the minister to hold meetings with GWT, the company responsible for promoting tourism to Egypt, to discuss what kind of marketing to undertake for Egypt. Zazou also met with representatives of TUI, the biggest German tour operator.
The film screened by then Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou at the fair also garnered negative reactions. Highlighting the difficult economic conditions facing workers who depend on tourism, like a carriage driver in Luxor who can't feed his children because of the paucity of tourists, the film made it seem as if “Egypt was begging,” the employee said.
Although company representatives said that the sharp decline in tourist numbers to Egypt is due to the current poor image of Egypt as a tourism destination, an agreement was reached under which TUI will operate one direct flight a week to Luxor from London starting on 1 November, despite the UK government's suspension of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh in Sinai.
Company representatives said promotional campaigns about Egypt must target markets like Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Zazou also met with representatives of Phoenix Reisin, a company specialising in Nile and cultural tourism, to discuss plans for flights to Luxor next winter.
The tourism minister then met with the head of the Federation of German Airlines, Michael Angel, as well as representatives of the Air Berlin, Condor and SunExpress airlines. He affirmed the importance of coordination between the ministry and the airlines, explaining that steps had been taken to ensure airport security in Egypt.

Clic here to read the story from its source.