If you are planning a trip to Egypt to soak in the sun and visit some of the ancient wonders of the world, you can now take advantage of easier online reservation systems and information thanks to a recent push towards e-tourism. Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Egypt’s economy, with millions of international visitors bringing money into the country each year as they visit Red Sea resorts or famous archaeological heritage sites. Yet with the country’s stability rattled with the revolution in January 2010, there has been a recent drop in tourist activity. It’s estimated that tourist arrivals have fallen by over a third in the past year.
While there has already been a push to incorporate a greater emphasis on e-tourism in the industry, with tough economic times this push has become even stronger. The 4th Annual E-Tourism and E-Marketing Conference was held in December 2011, drawing over 150 attendees from all sectors of the local tourism industry. This includes tour companies offering flights to Egypt and tour packages, PR companies, hotel representatives, and members of the Egyptian Tourism Authority. The purpose of this conference was to bring together travel bloggers and online marketing representatives, who were able to share new ways that the Egyptian tourism industry can potentially grow and expand.
When most people are planning a holiday, they start by searching for cheap flights and package deals online. You might then turn to travel blogs and social media outlets for advice about a particular destination, trusting these sources over traditional guidebooks because they have a more authentic voice. The Egyptian travel industry has in turn started to embrace this tendency towards digital resources. As a result, more and more hotels and tour companies are running online reservations systems, creating social media profiles, and working with travel bloggers to tell a personalized story about their destination and services.
Most Egyptian travel agents and tour companies now have their own websites which allow travellers to plan their entire journey ahead of time, from soaking up the sun in a Red Sea resort to trekking across the desert by camel. Digital marketing and e-tourism techniques can help provide the information that tourists are looking for, making them feel well cared for before the holiday even begins. Incorporating photographs and personalized travel accounts into tourism websites helps strengthen this message further, to gain greater exposure for Egyptian destinations and make booking more convenient for travellers.