Tourism holds key to Egypt’s new democratic dawn

Travel and tourism will play a crucial role in Egypt’s future, as the country ushers in a new era of democracy and opportunity, with landmark presidential elections set for November.

The World Travel Awards (WTA) noted that tourism remains the lifeblood of the Egyptian economy, accounting for 1 in 8 jobs and 12 percent of the nation’s output.

WTA also suggested that now is an excellent time to visit Egypt before the crowds return, and is taking the lead by hosting its Africa & Indian Ceremony in Sharm El Sheikh on September 16, 2011.

The prestigious ceremony, the organisation’s first to be held in Egypt, will take place at SOHO Square, the luxury entertainment complex within Savoy Group, and will attract the leading travel and tourism brands from across Africa and the Indian Ocean as they compete for the most influential accolade in travel.

After months of intense voting covering over 2,000 categories, the nominees have been whittled down to the elite few, and include Ritz Carlton, South African Airways, Conrad Hotels, Shamwari, &Beyond, Six Senses, and Four Seasons.

Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards, predicts that Egypt’s star attractions will lead to a swift recovery of its travel and tourism economy with the impending elections.

 

He said: “World-class destinations have an incredible ability to bounce back from adversity. Egypt is a remarkably resilient destination, boasting an incredible array of attractions from the Pyramids of Giza and the temples of Luxor to the spectacular diving of the Red Sea and the beaches of Sharm El Sheikh, the City of Peace.”

 

“Egypt is entering an exciting new dawn of hope and opportunity. And by attracting the travel industry elite to Sharm El Sheikh for our awards, we aim to showcase not only its world-class attractions and facilities but how tourism is serving as a force for good and a catalyst for change,” he added.

 

Emad Aziz, Chairman Savoy Sharm el Sheikh said: “I am honored that World Travel Awards is hosting its 2011 Africa&Indian Ocean Ceremony at The Savoy, Sharm-El-Sheikh. It will provide a great opportunity to showcase the attractions and facilities of our beautiful region to the travel and tourism world.”

 

“Our region offers a wealth of incredible attractions on our doorstep, all in a laid-back desert atmosphere. Sharm also serves as an ideal base to discover the ancient treasures of Luxor and Cairo,” he added.

 

Egypt will also be hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Day, which will be celebrated in the city of Aswan on September 27.

On a recent visit to Egypt, Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General, gave the green light saying, “Throughout my visit, it has been very clear that the Egyptian tourism sector is fully operational and ready to receive visitors.”

For more information about World Travel Awards 2011 Africa&Indian Ocean Ceremony and bookings, visit www.worldtravelawards.com/africa2011.

Save 50%* off Nile cruises 04 July 2011 – October 2012

7-night Nile cruise holiday from £699 for first traveller and £349.50 for the second

A Nile cruise is not just a relaxing sail down the Nile – it offers holidaymakers access to the world’s largest open air museum and some of the most amazing ancient archeological monuments and sites that still stand after 6,000 years.

Discover Egypt www.discoveregypt.co.uk

is currently offering a special saving on a selection of Nile cruises – a seven night Nile cruise for two with the second person paying half the price.

Enjoy a full board seven night cruise on board the five star Viking Princess with ten guided excursions, return flights and transfers in resort from just £699 for the first person and £349.50 for the second person.
Packages on board other ships, the Royal Viking, have prices starting from £899 with second traveller from £449.50 and Alexander the Great, from £1,399 and £699.50 respectively. Half price single supplement offers are applicable on board the Viking Princess and Royal Viking.

This offer is valid for travel between 04 July 2011 and October 2012 on selected departures from Gatwick. Flights from Birmingham, Heathrow or Manchester are available at a supplement.

These are some of the highlights that holidaymakers will visit along the way:
• Valley of the Kings – one of the most famous archeological sites in the world and a World Heritage site since 1979. The valley is a burial site where tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs for 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC. Its most famous tomb is that of Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.
• Temple of Hatshepsut – the temple of Queen Hatshepsut is close to the Valley of the Kings and is one of the most significant monuments of ancient Egypt. Considered the closest Egypt came to Classical Architecture and marked a turning point in the architecture of Ancient Egypt. Queen Hatshepsut was a rare female Pharaoh (late 16th century – 1482 BC) and considered by Egyptologists as one of the most successful.
• Valley of the Queens – the burial place for the wives of Pharaoh’s and often their children, located close to the Valley of the Kings. The area is said to hold seventy tombs that are all lavishly decorated, one of the most famous being the tomb for Queen Nefertari carved out of the rock.
• Colossi of Memnon – this is one of the most imposing ancient monuments on the West Bank and features two huge stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that have sat in the Theban necropolis for 3,400 years, just across the Nile from Luxor.
• Temple of Karnak – the Temple complex of Karnak is the largest ancient religious site in the world and is a vast mix of ruined temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings, including the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure started by Pharaoh Ramses II between 1391-1351 BC).
• Temple of Luxor – another spectacular temple complex in the city of Luxor that was started by Queen Hatshepsut, with later additions added by Amenhotep III and Rameses II.
• Temple of Horus (Edfu) – located near the city of Edfu this is the second largest temple in Egypt after Karnak and one of the best preserved. It is dedicated to the falcon god, Horus and was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC.
• Temple of Sobek (Kom Ombo) – located 40 kms from Aswan in the town of Kom Ombo this temple was built in 180 BC with later additions added in Roman times. The temple stands on what was an important crossroads between the caravan route from Nubia and trails from the gold mines in the eastern desert. On a bend in the Nile, a spot favoured by crocodiles, the temple was dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god.
• Temple of Philae – Philae is an island in the Nile close to Aswan and the previous site of an ancient Egyptian temple complex. The complex was relocated in a major feat of engineering to the nearby Agilka Island after it was nearly lost under water in the 1960s due to the construction of the High Dam. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.