Egypt seeks more Indian tourists

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Visas on arrival, more direct flights and cultural exhibitions across India are some of the steps Egypt will take to woo Indian tourists, it was announced Wednesday.

“India has a huge middle class and upper middle class willing to spend disposable income on travel. We have to focus on this audience,” Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said here.
Zaazou is part of the delegation of Egyptian ministers and business leaders led by President Mohamed Morsi.
“We are looking at granting visa on arrival to Indian tourists as well as (have) more direct flights from Delhi,” said Zaazou.
At present, four direct flights operate weekly to Egypt but only from Mumbai.
In addition, festivals that will offer potential Indian travelers a taste of Egypt’s culture with food, dance, handicrafts, clothes and leather products will begin in major cities in the three-four months, Zaazou told IANS.
Quoting UN figures, Zaazou said the number of Indians who visited Egypt in 2010 was over 1.14 lakh.
However, political unrest in 2011 brought this down to 73,000. It went up marginally to 82,000 in 2012.
George Nader El Beblawy of the Egyptian Tourism Federation admitted that more money should be pumped in promotional activities to promote Egypt in India.