Egypt’s promise of sun, sea, sand and culture brought German tourists in record numbers last year. In total, 1.2 million Germans flocked to the Land of the Pharaohs, a figure topped only by the Russians. However, with a total of 14.3 million room nights, Germans stayed longer, representing a jump of nearly 26 per cent over 2007.
The German performance contributed to a buoyant year for Egypt, which attracted 12.8 million visitors in total, a rise of 15 per cent over the previous year. Speaking at ITB, Egyptian tourism minister Zoheir Garranah said the country enjoyed 25 per cent growth until September when the economic downturn started to bite.
“What will happen in 2009 is the million dollar question, but we realise it is going to be a very tough year,” he said. “We need to work quickly and very aggressively to minimise losses from the business.”
The minister explained such measures include close co-operative marketing with tour operators, organising press and trade familiarisation trips to the country, and working to attract incentive groups and charter packages. The decision by German travel association DRV to hold its annual conference in Port Ghalib and Luxor in December is set to bring in another 1,000 or so industry visitors.
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