Published on : Friday, January 5, 2018
Ashraf Elewa, Owner, Interpoint Tours and Travel speaks exclusively with Travel And Tour World at the Chengdu International Tourism Expo (CITE) 2017, Chengdu, China.
He enlightens us about the immense growth potential of the Egyptian tourist industry, mentioning how some tourists have been lately misinterpreting this country as an unsafe destination. Mr. Elewa also gives us a brief idea about Chinese tourist arrivals in Egypt and the fact that his brand is keen to explore markets like India, Indonesia and others.
Travel And Tour World: Can you tell us how the Egyptian tourism industry has grown in the last five years?
Ashraf Elewa: Egyptian tourism industry had some problems after 2011 because there was a revolution in Egypt and after that, the rush in tourism abruptly stopped and tourists from all over the world stopped coming to Egypt. Even the European tourists stopped coming. But luckily now in this year we have a big reform, as a lot of people have once again started coming to Egypt. Speaking of China market we have around 300,000 people coming to Egypt in this period and we expect this number to rise to nearly 1 million in three or four years. And now European markets are coming back but we also expect Russian markets to explore our country’s destinations.
Also, we currently also have Indian markets and we organize a lot of tours to encourage tourists from India. Another market we are trying to explore is Japan.
Travel And Tour World: What makes Egypt unique as a globally acclaimed tourist destination?
Ashraf Elewa: Egypt is standing quite high in terms of its tourism market. For instance almost every tourist dreams about visiting Egypt, at least to visit pyramids and places like Aswan. We also have some fantastic places in other areas of Egypt and now Red Sea has also been witnessing a lot of tourist arrivals.
Travel And Tour World: Can you comment about Chinese tourist arrivals in Egypt?
Ashraf Elewa: Till 2010, we have had about 200,000 tourists coming to Egypt. Though this tourist arrival figure is not much, but since 2015 we are observing increased numbers and this year we had 300,000 people coming to Egypt. We expect that next year this number may touch half a million.
Travel And Tour World: What are your growth strategies for 2018 for your travel brand?
Ashraf Elewa: We need to open up new markets like India and Indonesia. Actually our company has a lot of groups in Spain, Latin America, China, Taiwan, Malaysia. However, we are yet to taste bigger markets. But then, we really expect to draw a large number of tourists from India soon.
Travel And Tour World: 2017 has been declared the International Year for Sustainable Tourism by the United Nations. Do you plan any strategies to make tourism in Egypt sustainable?
Ashraf Elewa: The very name Egypt has immense potential to attract a lot of tourists to the area. But if the country has a problem, naturally it would be affecting our tourism industry.
We need to go to show a lot of people that we are a safe country. Actually if in some place something happens, there is a general impression among people that Egypt is very likely to be a safe. I therefore say that Egypt, overall is a very safe destination for tourists.
Travel And Tour World: How is CITE 2017 event helping you in your promotional aims?
Ashraf Elewa: I have come here because Chengdu is a large market and I personally think it is our fifth largest market. Places in China like Sichuan or Chengdu are great as people of these places tend to spend a lot of money outside of China. This market is a very special one for us and secondly I also have a lot of partners here. I come to visit them here, or they come to visit me so there is increased chances of interactions among us.