Egypt, famous for its pyramids and the Great Sphinx, is expecting more than 50 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from India this year at over 1.2 lakh visitors. During 2016, Egypt received 80,000 travellers from India, according to data from the Egyptian Tourism Authority. “We see huge potential of 3-4 lakh tourists from India and are working towards achieving this goal. Looking at the current growth rate in the first quarter, we expect over 50 per cent growth in 2017, which will be over 1.2 lakh travellers from India,” Egyptian Tourism Counselor – Regional Director India and Far East Ismail A Hamid Amer told PTI here.
Egypt is being promoted as an premium and exotic destination in India and it expects to reach the potential of 3-4 lakh tourists by 2019, he added. Further, he said, even as the tourists numbers from India currently is not big. However, looking at the growth trends it is likely to be among the top 10 source markets for Egypt in a 2-3 years. The top source markets for Egypt are Europe, which constitutes 70 per cent of its tourism traffic, followed by the Arab nations constituting 26 per cent, he said.
“We are promoting Egypt for all age groups with different packages to suit everyone. We have special products like Nile cruise, history and culture for the elderly travellers and many adventure activities for the youth. We also have products that will suit the family,” Amer said.
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Egypt, he said, is focusing on family, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE), Bollywood, honeymooners and pilgrimage (for Christians and Muslims) among others, he said. Indians, Amer said, are big spenders and add value to the tourism industry of Egypt.
Currently, Egypt is targeting travellers from big cities in India and but will slowly penetrate to Tier II and III cities, Amer said. “We have conducted road shows in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Little by little we will reach out to Tier II and III cities as well,” he said.
Talking about direct connectivity, he said, at present there is four weekly flights from Mumbai and by the end of this year, there might be more connecting 1-2 cities of India to Egypt.
“We have one direct flight which flies four times weekly from Mumbai. We also have several connecting flights from India as well. We are hoping for more direct flights from India connecting with 1-2 cities by December this year,” Amer added.