Tourism holds key to Egypt’s new democratic dawn


World Travel Awards has highlighted the crucial role travel and tourism will play in Egypt’s future, as the country ushers in a new era of democracy and opportunity, with landmark presidential elections set for November. The awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, noted that tourism remains the lifeblood of the Egyptian economy, accounting for one in eight jobs and 12 percent of the nation’s output.

World Travel Awards also says 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 16 September 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 says: “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 says: “I am honoured 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 adds.

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 27 September.

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.”

World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Ceremony marks the third heat of its 2011 Grand Tour, after events in Dubai, UAE and Antalya, Turkey. Other regional legs will follow in Bangkok, Thailand and Montego Bay, Jamaica, with the regional winners progressing to the Grand Final in Doha, Qatar in November.

The event partners are Soho Square, Savoy Hotels & Resorts International, BBC World News and WeClickMedia, and the media partners include Magic 105.4, ABTA Magazine, eTurboNews, Focus on Travel News, Breaking Travel News, Passport Magazine and National Geographic Traveller.

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