Minister: 1 million Indian tourists initiative unsuccessful due to insufficient flights

According to Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy, Egypt received 60,459 Indian tourists in 2014. In January and February 2015, 19.6 percent more Indians visited Egypt, compared to the same period in 2014.
The ministry hopes to reach the numbers from 2010, when around 160,000 Indian tourists visited the country. However, attracting one million Indian tourists, as targeted by the recent campaign, would require 120 weekly flights, he added. 
Official estimates by Tourism Ministry showed that the campaign will not bring the expected results in 2017, the minister said.
Sources inside the Ministry told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the "one million" campaign target, declared in 2013, cannot be reached by 2017 not only due to the insufficient amount of inbound flights, but also due to the new decision regarding tourist visas, as well as the reduced advertising budget, which means no tools are currently available to promote Egypt in India.
Karim Mohsen, head of the foreign tourism committee at the Egyptian Travel Agents Association, said the idea of one million Indian tourists appeared when other markets, similar to India, were noticed, offering opportunities for promoting tourism to Egypt. However, Egypt needs to set its target and identify the appropriate methods to attract more tourists, he said. Egypt Tourism Authority, according to Mohsen, should raise awareness among tourist and public relations agencies to promote Egypt on the Indian market. 
However, Mohamed al-Hassanein, a tourism expert, said proper market studies should have been carried out prior to the initiative, as even though the Indian market is ‘promising’, the Egyptian and Indian airlines should have been evaluated with regard to their capacity to transfer tourists. A detaield study regarding Indian expenditures in Egypt should also be carried out to evaluate its impact. He added that the number of incoming tourists is significant, but the expected revenues are the key factor that must be considered.  
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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