Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Tourism Industry in Egypt is under FIRE

Tourism is a growing industry for many developing countries and a great source of revenue. The deep rich history of Egypt, and its breathtaking temples, has made tourism an economic factor for many cities. Recently however, many of the post-uprising troubles has impacted the tourism industry in Luxor.

The New York times article speaks of a man by the name of Adel Abdul Latif, who has supported his family has a vendor at the temples around Luxor. However due to reduction in tourism, a combination of unrest and what appears to be a safety concern, tourism dropped. This had the negative impact of forcing Latif and his family to rely on cash handouts and free blankets, a fate that other families reliant on tourism for income probably also faced.

According to the article tourism provides direct jobs for nearly three million people, critical income to more than 70 industries and 20 percent of the state's foreign currency. The figures just mentioned portray the importance of the tourism industry to Egypt and to  the city of Luxor. Additionally, tourism took a nose dive in 2011 with the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the unrest that followed.

The dependency of the tourism industry, requires a new strategy, a set of coordinated activities to regain enthusiasm and actual people back visit Luxor. What types of strategy will they be able to implement? How will they go about re-branding the country, to assuage the fears of tourist of their safety?

Well the article pinpoints a few strategies some of the country's promoters are undertaking. They are focusing on 1) calming the fears about Egypt's safety, 2) there are considering streaming live video feed of Egypt over the Internet showing its beaches and tourists attractions unaltered by unrest. The article also points out that the city of Cairo, were much of the unrest has occurred has contributed in large part to the reduction of tourism; thus, some have taken to the idea of marketing Egypt absent of Cairo.

The second part of the strategy beyond the re-imagining of Egypt is to attract new tourists from previously inactive countries. Officials are pushing to attract tourists outside of the usual United States, to India and especially Iran. If their tactic of targeting these new tourists works, they will have provided themselves with a new consumer base, complementing the reintroduction of tourism in Egypt. Time will tell if these strategies are fruitful in attracting new and old tourists to visit Egypt, unfortunately cities that are fiscally dependent on this industry have little time to wait.



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