This Issue is : 11-2009

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Festivals in Egypt
Exchange Rates

Uncontrollable Money in (E.T.A)

Uncontrollable Money in (E.T.A)
I could not believe my eyes when I read a paper entitled "Towards a better strategy for the development of Arab tourists coming to Egypt," in the "Tourist Research Journal" issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.

The paper addresses an open accusation to the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) along with its all staff starting from the Authority Chairman passing through departments of marketing, media who are to be accused of inadequately launching promotional campaigns for Egyptian market causing thus a decline in Arab tourist movement coming to Egypt which shifted its destination to Turkey and Asia instead.

The question that really suggests itself now is that does the Fore-mentioned research, published in the very Tourism Ministry Journal openly recognize the failure of the marketing and tourism promotion system which cost $ 40 million annually and the genius plans that will definitely bring the vitality of this sector to an end? Or has it been published in the absence of the Ministry's awareness deciding thus to cooperate with ETA in abusing Egypt together with its people?

The paper has narrated the reasons standing behind Egypt’s abandonment by Arab tourists including the ill-behaviour of the Egyptians with tourists, traffic rules and the difficulty of moving from one place to another with no specific tariff for taxis. Other reasons are reflected by the imprecise booking procedures and baggage weight which sometimes causes an increase in costs imposed on overweight, the matter that also bothers Arab tourists.

This in addition to the phenomenon of commercial fraud and the extremely high commodity prices offered to Arabs. Above all, propaganda means employed in promoting the Egyptian tourism product are deemed a main factor for Egypt’s abandonment by Arab tourists, for example, the "Egypt Nothing compare” campaign.

Let me reveal to you another crime committed in the Egyptian Tourism Authority and which will start on November. 22 during the next four months in the "global village" festival hosted by Dubai within "Tourism and Shopping" Festival in UAE. Tourism Minister approved, upon a request by the chairman of ETA, the travel of 7 officials from domestic tourism sector, 3 from the financial sector, 3 from Planning and Follow-up sector and one person from the private technical managerial sector. Surprisingly, just two officials were selected from the International Sector whose main concern is Promotion and propaganda. But what astonishes you more enough is that among those who are going to attend the Festival are ETA's chairman 's brother and the International Tourism Sector's President's nephew!

Each of those last two figures shall be paid a $ 150 travel allowance per day apart from the full accommodation in luxury hotels , pre-paid in the form of cash advance for performing chimerical purposes leading ultimately to the loss of public funds .

In this manner, the Tourism Authority is boosting Egyptian tourism abroad while in fact failed to promote domestic tourism in all Egyptian cities. What seems to us now is that Chairman of ETA deliberately forgot that the UAE is mainly concerned with international tourism making no justification for the travel of domestic tourism, planning, financial and technical and administrative sectors ' officials….Let them have fun with the uncontrolled money ... And after that we do not rule out a decision letting dustmen travel and promoting Egyptian tourism on the Moon.
Reham El-Barbary