Egyptian tourism development between destination management and conspiracy theory

Right after the Egyptian revolution on January 25th and during the (Arab Spring), all travel and tourism practitioners in Egypt were so ambitious and optimistic about the near future of tourism in Egypt. Later on, there was an obvious deterioration in the political situation which affected the travel and tourism sector negatively. On the other hand, some statistics were being published highlighting slight increase in inbound tourism. We can’t deny these statistics but i assume that these statistics comprehend all the inbound population including refugees and foreign students in Egyptian universities which is not a small number. To cut it short, the situation wasn’t good and still. But the question is: is it the political situation in Egypt or in the Middle East is the only challenge facing the Egyptian travel and tourism sector? is there a way to develop this sector as it was the second major source of foreign currency? 

During the regime of Muslim Brotherhood under the rule of past president Mohamed Morsy, there was a rumor that Muslim Brotherhood are intending to sell the Giza Plateau where the three pyramids and sphinx are located. I decided to investigate about this incident and gathered details about the presence of such an initiative. It was such a pity to come out with a conclusion that i was hoping long time ago. The regime was looking for a destination management agency to handle the major touristic sites in Egypt. I’m not defending the Muslim Brotherhood but I admit that this initiative would be the strongest tool of developing the travel and tourism sector in Egypt.

What’s destination management and how can it enhance tourism ?
Destination management refers to the activity of handling either a tourist site or the whole destination in terms of operations, security, transportation, tour guidance, marketing … etc. A Destination Management Agency is an entity that is being outsourced by the authorities to handle the tourist sites or destinations in terms of operations, security, transportation, tour guidance, marketing … etc. as mentioned before. Upon contracting, this destination management agency will be bind and entitled to achieve specific targets in the development of the tourist site or destination proven by statistics and figures against an income in shape of fees, commission, BOT or share in the income.

So, why is it important to apply the concept of destination management?
Firstly, the destination management agency or entity can be established by authorities or in can be outsourced as a pre-established foreign or local destination management agency.
Still, why is it important? according to me observation as a travel and tourism practitioner for 17 years, and by having experience in operating during crisis time and turmoils, security is not the only factor affecting tourism in any destination and the proof is that we can witness highly developed destinations in tourism that are also facing security challenges. The main factor is Competition. Yes competition. Tourist destinations compete aggressively by enhancing tourism sectors and services applied. Destination management agencies are also responsible for security, so they provide the adequate number, qualification and facilitation or personnel and equipment to apply the highest possible level or security. Moreover, comfort, entertainment, assistance, food and beverage and many other factors can be provided by destination management agencies and reduce the burden on the government or authorities.

In conclusion, destination management is not risky for any country and its monuments and valuables. Many developed countries depend on destination management agencies and they perform perfectly. Let’s set aside conspiracy theory and think properly in order to rise up with our country and our travel sector in Egypt.

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