Tarek Elhousseiny, Visa’s General Manager for North and West Africa
Leading electronic payments network, Visa, has committed itself to helping attract tourists back to Egypt by continuing to work collaboratively with the tourism industry in Egypt, by running special promotions and by providing important research trends data about the spending habits of tourists visiting the country.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, revenues from inbound travel to Egypt account for around 11.5% of the country’s GDP. In 2010, travellers from Russia accounted for 20% of the 12.7 million visitors to Egypt and are a target market for the travel and tourism community to continue focussing on. Consumerism in Russia continues to thrive and influence Russians’ behaviour as they seek to travel more, buy more and spend more. The 2.4 million Russian tourists who travelled to Egypt were responsible for the biggest share of tourism spending (14%) and will be the major focus of industry promotions and marketing campaigns.
Visa has recently teamed up with the Marriott Group, including JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard hotels in the region to offer special discounts on stay and/or dining to Visa cardholders who use their Visa cards as the method of payment. While the offer is open to all nationalities, Visa will be promoting Egypt properties as part of the company's marketing campaigns running in Russia, Commonwealth Independent States and South East Europe to attract premium customers back to Egypt. All Visa Gold, Platinum or Infinite cardholders who use their payment cards will be eligible to receive these offers.
“In countries such as Egypt, where the travel and tourism industry is a major driver of the economy, there are very few sectors that are not impacted by fluctuations affecting the industry,” said Tarek Elhousseiny, Visa’s General Manager for North and West Africa. “As tourists return to learn about the country’s ancient history and to experience the ‘New Egypt’, revenues will return to those businesses that support the tourism industry. This will take time.
At Visa, we believe that perhaps now more than ever, it’s crucial to partner with players in the tourism sector in order to provide incentives that will help bring tourists back to Egypt and hasten the recovery of the industry and the economy.”
Among other activities, Visa conducts annual consumer research to understand how consumers approach their travel journey; what media they consume before planning a trip, where they intend to go on future trips and how they intend to pay. Visa's network of millions of merchants and 1.8 billion cards in circulation helps to drive the sustainable development of the industry in collaboration with tourism authorities and market players.