Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities,
Khaled El-Enany, has announced plans to cooperate with head of the US Tour Operators Association (USTOA), Terry Dale, to promote Egypt as a travel destination in the US.
At a meeting which took place in Cairo in mid-February, Egyptian officials and USTOA discussed promoting Egypt as a destination for American tourists, especially since the Grand Egyptian Museum will open in the last quarter of 2020.
Dale told Egyptian officials that USTOA would like to hold its annual conference for 2021 in Egypt, putting the country on the map of world tourism with a focus on US tour operators. They agreed that the timing of the 2021 conference couldn’t be more appropriate, since it will come on the back of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the renovation of the Pyramids Plateau and Old Cairo.
Built four and a half millennia ago, the Sphinx and Pyramids are the most widely recognized symbols of Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Khufu, the oldest and largest, is even more awe-inspiring. Tell clients not to miss the extraordinary Solar Boat Museum, featuring a cedarwood boat built to carry King Khufu into the afterlife, completely original except for its ropes.
In addition to Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, a treasure house of more than 100,000 artifacts, suggest that clients tour Coptic Cairo, an early Christian neighborhood where the Holy Family is thought to have lived during their flight into Egypt. One of Cairo’s oldest quarters, it contains ancient churches and an excellent museum. Cairo’s atmospheric souk of Khan al Khalili is not just for souvenir hunters. Its bustling narrow passages are a kaleidoscope of spices, jewelry, copper- and brassware, carpets and clothing from belly-dance outfits to traditional galabeyas.
To assure clients the safest and the most rewarding exploration of Cairo’s sights, book them a licensed tour guide, preferably one with a degree in Egyptology.
Outside of Cairo
There is much to do in Egypt that takes visitors outside of Cairo. A Nile cruise experience includes many elements of the classical tour… the temples at Edfu and Philae, the Valley of the Kings and Queens and the Aswan High Dam. Many of these sites are also available while staying at a hotel in Luxor, where visitors may choose to relax at the pool overlooking the Nile River. The Red Sea beach resorts provide an opportunity beyond the beach and world-class diving to explore the Bedouin and desert culture or even to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai.
Most of Egypt’s greatest historic sights lie in the Nile Valley between Aswan and Luxor, and the best way to visit them is by a Nile cruise. At Luxor are Karnak and Luxor Temples, the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari and the Colossi Momnon. At Aswan are the High Dam, Philae Temple and Granite Quarries, as well as lesser-known sights of Elephantine Island, St. Simeon’s Monastery, the unfinished Obelisk and Nubian Museum. Between these, cruises stop for temples at Kom Ombo and Edfu.
Beaches and More
Surprisingly, its miles of golden beaches draw more tourists to Egypt than the ancient sights, with the Sinai and Sharm el-Sheikh and El-Gouna – just north of Hurghada on the Red Sea – favored by high-end vacationers. Sun-and-sand trips can easily include visits to St. Catherine’s Monastery and other Sinai Peninsula monuments. The Red Sea also has some of the world’s best scuba diving, with shipwrecks and pristine reefs to explore.
Long overlooked, Alexandria, founded on the Mediterranean Sea in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, is getting more attention since the opening of the new Library of Alexandria near the site of the 3rd-century BC original that was burned by the Romans. The National Museum, a Roman Amphitheatre and Catacomb add to its attractions.
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