A severe decline in the inflow of Japanese tourists to Egypt in the recent years can be blamed on a halt of flights between Cairo and Tokyo since the 2011 uprising, Egypt’s tourism union said.
The flight line between Cairo and Tokyo has been inoperative since the uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak presumably over low turnout for the service, the Egyptian Tourism Federation said in a statement.
Another factor to the decline of Japanese tourists, according to ETF, was the absence of Egyptian representation in Japanese tourism fairs and art festivals. Federation member, Atef Abdel Latif, noted that Egypt has been absent from the Tokyo International Film Festival and Japan’s tourism expo JATA since 2009.
Japanese tourist numbers dropped sharply since 1997, when Islamist extremist killed more than 50 tourists outside Deir al-Bahary temple in Luxor, Abdel Latif explained, adding that the numbers, however, surged again in 2007 to 132,000.
At present, Abdel Latif explained, there is no Japanese tourism to Egypt. The last batch of Japanese tourists visited the country in November 2014 on board a Qatar Airways plane from Doha.
Abdel Latif advised tourism companies to deal with “major countries” exporting tourists to Egypt from a ‘strategic perspective’, not only with gain and loss calculations. He said Egypt could overcome the inefficiency of the Tokyo-Cairo line by adding an extra destination to the line, such as Indonesia, as he put it.
Japanese tourists, compared to other nationalities, have higher shopping tendencies, Abdel Latif argued, adding that the Japanese are more interested in cultural and historical attractions rather than entertainment.
Abdel Latif lauded a recent visit by Japan’s premier Shinzo Abde to Cairo the first by a Japanese government head in eight years, in which he met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss investments, inter alia.