JWT wins 68M USD contract to promote Egypt in 27 tourism markets

Global marketing and advertising agency J. Walter Thompson has been selected to campaign for Egyptian tourism on a three-year contract worth $22 million annually, the tourism minister said.

The company will start the campaign in October, Minister Khaled Rami said in a statement.

“The winning company was instructed to allocate not less than 25 percent of the campaign budget on cultural tourism sector which has been badly affected by the political turmoil in the aftermath of 2011 uprising,” according to chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) Sami Mahmoud.

Cultural tourism will attract tourists mainly from France, the US, Canada, the UK and Italy, amongst others.

Egypt is currently trying to revive its tourism sector, which was a main source of income in Egypt until a popular uprising which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011 triggered four years of political turmoil, taking its toll on the sector.

Tourism industry contributes with 11.3 percent of the gross domestic product and is the source of 7 percent of foreign currency, the government said in April.

The Ministry of Tourism has previous experience with promotional campaigns. In April 2014, a campaign named “Wahshtona” (We have missed you) was launched, targeting tourists from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. Former tourism minister Hisham Zaazou said the campaign resulted in a 149.4% increase in the number of tourists from these countries, between July and December 2014.

Another campaign, “Masr Orayeba” (Egypt is close), included a five-minute song encouraging Arab tourists to visit Egypt, and featured many Egyptian actors and actresses. The campaign was launched earlier this year.

In October 2014, the Ministry of Tourism intensified its marketing campaigns in the main markets exporting tourism to Egypt, using Facebook and approximately 2,000 bloggers. Zaazou said that previous marketing and promotional campaigns did not utilise an internet presence to attract new categories of travellers to Egypt, particularly those from younger age groups.

Tourism Activation Authority selected JWT in the promotion and public relations fields to promote Egyptian tourism in 27 foreign markets. Four companies were the finalists in the tender, and have been named as JWT, Saatchi & Saatchi, Memac and Team/Young, according to Ahmed Ahmadi, Deputy Chairman of the Tourism Activation Authority.

JWT was a part of coalition of companies tasked with the organization of the New Suez Canal inauguration ceremony held in Aug. 6.

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