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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
egypt Story by BRAD FOSTER for events egypt The economic crisis may be on everyone’s lips but not on those in Dubai. particularly from Japan, Korea, australia and asia. egypT is aTTracTing a growing number of conference and incentive travel groups, A ccording to Ibrahim Khalil from the Japanese office of the Embassy of Egypt Egyptology & tourist Promotion office the appeal of the country along with its proximity to Asia is resulting in greater conference and incentive numbers. “We used to have a slogan `Egypt has it all’ which is really more than just a slogan. travellers to Egypt really can enjoy a wide variety of attractions and experiences,” he explains. “this is not simply our [ancient] monuments, which are scattered everywhere, but water-based pursuits like diving and fishing, desert safaris, and many more. “For the convention and incentive market we have a wide variety of infrastructure, not only in Cairo but in other areas of Egypt as well.” Mr Khalil says business in the MICE sector has been growing steadily from Europe and the United States over the last decade. While much of the Egyptology & tourism Promotion office efforts remain focused on these markets they are pushing for more business from Asia, including Australia. “We are really putting more of our focus in Asia, and over the coming period will be participating in more exhibitions and travel shows, and organising press trips to create more awareness.” He says hosting a number of United Nations events in recent times have gone a long way into assisting in raising the profile of the destination. As Mr Khalil explains, much of the beauty of the destination as a whole is its variety of things to see and do “beyond the ballroom”. And, with first-rate hotels and resorts and a new push on shopping centres, most particularly in Cairo, its appeal looks set to grow year on year. Visitors to Egypt can experience cultural cruises on the Nile river, indulge their senses in seaside resorts bordering the red Sea, 48 mice.net play golf at the foot of the ancient pyramids, or explore the desert landscape in air-conditioned comfort. Nile river cruises give visitors the opportunity to see a side of Egyptian life that visitors rarely see along with tailor-made tours of monumental sites, including the pyramids, as well as tours of cities including Cairo, Alexandria and rosetta. the grand resorts on the red Sea, in the Sinai region, and to the west of the city of Alexandria offer a variety of seaside pursuits. Sharm El-Sheikh, or “Sharm” as it is known locally, situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula offers some of the best diving in the world. Its hotels and resorts boast brands including Four Seasons, Hilton, radisson and Marriott, each of which offer something a little bit different to the visitor. Sharm has a great variety of restaurants and shopping, and plenty of options for the conference and incentive travel market in terms of day and half-day tours. resorts along the so-called “Continental coast” and Mediterranean region are also well-suited to the MICE market, with a large variety of accommodation styles and facilities. Conference facilities When it comes to convention facilities, Egypt has it covered. the destination has a smattering of dedication convention facilities including the Cairo International Conference Centre, with a capacity of 8500, the Alexandrina Library Conference Centre (1650 pax), the Sharm El-Sheikh International Congress Centre (2000 pax), and the Port Ghalib International Convention Centre (1500 pax). All of these facilities are well-versed in hosting international standard congresses and conventions. ABOVE: Giza pyramids, the Sphinx, Cairo, Egypt. Photo courtesy of GARDEL Bertrand hemis. The Egyptian National Tourist Authority.