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Window on EgyptEGYPT recently participated in the sixth round of Al-Multaqa Travel Fair held in the United Arab Emirates. The head of the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA), Adel Abdel-Aziz, said the fair gave Egypt a perfect chance to impress potential visitors from other Gulf states. "We wanted to participate in the exhibition and show the facilities and services that Egypt offers to Gulf tourists. Our country is very attractive to Arabs. We can provide them with more privacy, whether in hotel suites, motels, chalets, or villas in the tourist villages," said Abdel-Aziz.
About 30 Egyptian travel agents and hotels plus Egyptian tourist officials participated in the event which attracted about 600 exhibitors from 42 countries.
Arab tourism constitutes one quarter of the total movement to Egypt. "We discussed with Arab officials the idea of intra-Arab tourist relations, the role of tourist fairs in promoting tourism as well as Egypt's preparations for hosting its first tourist fair in March," Abdel-Aziz said.
Tapping dollarsTWELVE American writers have praised government moves to make visitors feel safe in Egypt and said the American media should help correct the detrimental image some people still harbour of this country. During their trip, they toured Pharaonic sites and museums in Cairo and Luxor. Some continued on to Hurghada.
Egyptian officials see enormous potential in the largely untapped American market. According to the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), US tourists were top spenders in 40 countries worldwide, spending $50 billion in 1995.
"We want more Americans," said Omayma El-Husseini, deputy director of the Egyptian tourism office in New York, who accompanied the travel writers. She said that more trips for travel writers and tour operators will be organised in coming months.
Singapore missionA DELEGATION of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) visited Egypt recently. The group consisted of hotel representatives, travel agents and a cruise operator. According to the Singapore Embassy, this is STB's first tourism sales mission to Egypt. Its main objective was to build better awareness of Singapore as a holiday destination for Egyptians. It also gave a platform for Egyptian travel agents to meet their Singapore counterparts and establish business ties.
Egyptian-German bondFOUR hotels in Hurghada, Taba, Al-Gouna and the Pyramids area will soon be managed by a major German company based in Egypt. "This is one of the ways in which the Egyptian-German partnership is reflected. It shows the extent of the long-standing relations between the two countries," said Dr Mamdouh El-Beltagui, the minister of tourism.
Conference facilitiesMOST quality hotels now provide the latest in technological and other conference facilities. The result has been an increase in the number of local, regional or international conferences held in Egypt. The Cairo Sheraton recently hosted an important conference held by Al-Ahram's Political and Strategic Studies Centre and sponsored by Dr Abdel-Moneim Said in cooperation with the Mediterranean and European Research Centre. Regional integration in the Mediterranean, the problem of land-mines in the region and ways to establish security cooperation in the area were discussed.
Compiled by Rehab Saad