It is the land that gave birth to the first great civilization. The flowing Nile, the mysterious Pyramid— scope of Egypt is magnificent. Even every traveler regards Egypt as their special destination. However, It is the area that currently suffering revolution and economic crisis—-escalating chaos and the political turmoil.
In the statement to local media, on September 19, the Egypt’s Minister of Tourism has said that the Egyptian tourism sector has lost more than 20 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.9 billion) over the past year, which has seen the hotel occupancy rates fall by 85 per cent since mid-August. A number of states have warned their citizens about the dangers of traveling to Egypt.
The fall break and Thanksgiving holiday is coming. Do you have any plan for travel? France, Italy, Australia or will you choose Egypt as your destination? If so, will the political issue bother you? One of my professor asked the class to think about doing PR for Egypt Tourism Board, and then I started to think about how can PR resuscitate Egypt tourism? Here we go!
Situation analysis. Always be clear about what the consumer think of, and it will be the bedrock. Last Sunday, I went to a special attraction at Natural and History Museum to do interview on Egypt. Before I went there, I supposed the biggest concern for people would be the political issue in Egypt. However, nearly 70% percent of the people think the money and time will be the problem. It was totally out of my box but seems like a good news to Egypt! (Note, this is a random interview and need a more scientific research if do work for Egypt Tourism Board)
Image building instead of direct sales driving. In a long-term, encouraging people to go to Egypt under the current circumstance can be a risky move. Once the tourist were encountered with safety problem, it may escalate the tourism crisis. Instead, where there is challenge, there is a chance. PR can help Egypt Tourism Board build a reliable and responsible image to the public by 7/24 updating real-time Egypt and travel information. In this way, people are inclined to put Egypt in their shopping cart and one day confirm the order when the situation is back to track.
Special events for special time. We can not take people to Egypt, but we can bring Egypt here to engage consumers. Consumers may not able to see the Nile, but it may trigger their wish to go by participating an Egypt travel sharing or a series of museum road show, which bring epitome of the Egyptian civilization to our target audience.
Social Media. I have traced the official website of Egypt Tourism Board for a week, unfortunately, ETB did not response on the escalating political issue until Sep 24th, which made a statement on Czech has lifted travel ban to Egypt. However, they post nothing on the whole August, when is the hardest time for Egypt Tourism. Social media is currently regarded as the most powerful tool in Public Relations and it is the same story to Egypt tourism.