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Tour operators to chip in on bringing Russians back to Egypt

05:29, 11 февраля 2013

Major Russian tour operators in cooperation with Egyptiangovernment are preparing a joint marketing campaign aimed at bringing tourists back to the Red Sea. By means of TV, billboards, b2b-media and other advertizing mediums, they are going to convince Russians that travelling to Egypt's resorts is safe.

The news on the tour operator's agreement on a massive promotion campaign with Egyptian authorities was brought to light by the Sales and Marketing Director of TUI Russia & СIS Mr. Ivor Vukelik: "We would like to show that Egypt is safe, he explained. And nothing proves this better than the fact that there were no incidents with tourists in Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada even when the revolution was going at full pace".

Following massive disorders in Egypt's major cities in 2010, the tourist flow from Russia fell 30-40% down. And it's hasn't completely recovered so far. And to take a step closer to recovery, the advertizing campaign has been planned. According to Ivor Vukelik, apart from TUI, the agreement also engages other major operators: Pegas Touristik, Coral Travel and Anex Tour. Our source claims that each company is to invest at least $1.5 millioninto the project. "Combined input from TUI and Egyptian government for the next four months will be $1.5 million", stated Mr. Vukelik.

Director General of Pegas Touristik Mrs. Anna Podgornaya confirms her company's involvement in the campaign. She refused to disclose the budget, only saying that it won't be less than TUI's. Mrs. Podgornaya explained that the project's main objective was to bring back the popularity the country had once had with Russian tourists. As confirmed by the MFA of Russia and RosTourism, all tourist areas of Egypt are safe. In my opinion, Egypt's image is suffering from the media coverage of the situation; sometimes the press is being way too zealous".

Coral Travel hasn't responded to RBC Daily's inquiry. While a spokesperson from Anex Tour Ms. Eugenia Fyodorova tells that their company carries out promotional activities together with the government of Egypt every year; however the 2013 budget hasn't been agreed upon so far.

According to the data of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RUTI), in 2010, Egypt welcomed 2.2 million Russians, and just 1.5 million in 2011. As at September 2012, the Egypt-bound tourist flow from Russia had already reached 1.2 million arrivals, which is still not as much as during the same period in 2010 (1.5 million).

The press secretary of the RUTI Mrs. Irina Tyurina thinks very positively of such move by the tour operators. "Egypt is practically a lost destination, she point out, the operators' despair is clear to me: they lost a huge load of money there in 2011, and since then the tourist flow has been unable to recover, thanks to the negative media coverage". The number of foreign tourists went down significantly. Even though the New Year holidays, and particularly January 7, did brought many tourists from Russia to the Red Sea, after the outburst of protests in late January, this flow had fallen down in no time, reports Ahram Online.

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