Archive | May, 2009

ATA CONGRESS NEWS & VIEWS

20 May

Volume 1.2, Wednesday, May 20, 2009
updated Friday, June 4, 2009

IN THIS ISSUE
* Welcome to ATA Congress News & Views
* News

WELCOME TO ATA CONGRESS NEWS AND VIEWS
This is the second issue of ATA Congress News & Views, the e-newsletter of ATA’s 34th Annual Congress, which opened two days ago at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.

Today, we bring you some news from our Congress, as well as some pictures from some of our workshops.

NEWS

ATA 34th Annual Congress Opens in Cairo on May 18
The Africa Travel Association (ATA), in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egypt Tourist Authority, opened its 34th Annual Congress in Cairo two days ago. Under the banner of “Connecting Destination Africa,” the world event brings together current tourism ministers from Africa and the region’s leading figures from the travel industry to promote travel, tourism and transport to Africa and to strengthen intra-Africa relationships to make this happen. Held at the Conrad Cairo Hotel, the ATA Congress was hosted by the Honorable Zoheir Garranah, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Amr El-Ezaby, Chairman, Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA). Click here for the press release. VIPs at Cairo Congress

African Union Sends Message to ATA Delegates
Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim, Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, sent a letter to the ATA congress delegates, which was read during the opening ceremony. Click here to read the letter.

ATA Introduces African Bazaar
ATA introduced a marketplace for buyers and spellers specializing in Africa at the Congress on Tuesday, May 19. Titled, “African Bazaar,” the marketplace provided a forum for more than 25 sellers and 80 buyers to hold one-on-one appointments.African Bazaar

ATA’s Young Professionals Network Meets with Egyptian High-School Students
On Wednesday, ATA’s Young Professionals Network met with 80 Egyptian students at the American School, Dar El Tarbiah School in Cairo, where they asked each other questions that helped combat negative stereotypes such as how they perceive the "other." The YPN forum was coordinated by Dr. Cathy De Leo and NYU student Levald Thomas. Kalimah Abioto, one of the US participants, filmed the student exchange, which will be available on her website, www.thepeoplefly.com.

ATA Screens New Documentary on Youssou N’Dour
ATA also premiered the new film I Bring What I Love: Youssou N’dour, a music-infused documentary about how one man’s voice could inspire change in Senegal and across Africa. The film chronicles N’dour, a devout Sufi Muslim, as he releases a deeply personal and religious album called Egypt in hope of promoting a more tolerant face of Islam. Jack Turner, the Executive Producer, introduced the film to a captivated audience of Africa enthusiasts. Click here for more on the documentary.

Program Spotlights
Honorable Shamsa Mwangunga (MP), ATA President and Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, opened the ATA event on Monday, May 18, and introduced Amr El-Ezaby, Chairman of the Egypt Tourist Authority, who said the ATA Congress presented an extraordinary opportunity for people to share information and ideas on developing and marketing the tourism products of Africa.

Opening Ceremony Panel

“Until 20 or 30 years ago, Egypt was a one product destination: the classic Egypt tour. But in the 1980’s, Egypt started to diversify its product in order to keep its competitive edge, by developing resort tourism on the Red Sea, desert tourism and cultural tourism. Demand increased and so did infrastructure from 18,000 rooms in 1982 to 210,000 rooms in 2008. Today, Egypt is developing high-end resorts to appeal to the luxury market.”

Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director, also spoke at the opening ceremony and shared the letter from Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim, Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, with the congress delegates.

The Egypt Ministry of Tourism also hosted two special workshops focusing on Egypt’s experience over the last few decades as one of the world’s most popular destinations. The high proflie speakers included Hisham Zaazou, First Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, who spoke about Egypt’s vast and diverse travel offerings, illustrating the success of Egypt’s diversification strategy with continued growth of tourism arrivals despite the current global economic downturn. (Incoming arrivals increased 17% in 2008.)

Hisham Zazzou, First Assistant to the Minister, Ministry of Tourism Arab Republic of Egypt

In a session chaired by Amr El-Ezaby, Chairman of the Egypt Tourist Authority, travel operators, Amr Badr, Head of Abercrombie & Kent, and Karim El-Minabawy, Vice Chairman of Emco Travel, discussed setbacks Egypt’s tourism has faced over the years, and how these challenges were met and overcome.
Workshop 2: Rebirth of Destination Egypt

The first day of workshops wrapped up with a special presentation on the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Sindiswa Nhlumayo, South Africa’s Deputy Director-General, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, shared South Africa’s perspective on the premier sporting event. Ray Whelan, the leading representative of MATCH, the service company appointed by FIFA to handle hospitality and ticketing for the FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014, spoke about how the mega sporting event, the largest to date on the continent, can benefit all of Africa. Rui Lisboa, a representative of the Angolan Ministry of Affairs spoke about the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations and a representative from Cameroon spoke about the importance of soccer to the nation.

Workshop 3 Panelists

Honorable Mohamed Zoheir Garranah, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and the host of the ATA congress, invited delegates to the Salah el-Din Citadel for a festive evening, including whirling dervish dancers, a musical performance and Egyptian cuisine. Against the backdrop of Cairo, the evening at the Citadel provided delegates with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy Egypt at its finest.

 

 

The second day began with a discussion on hotels in Africa. Moderated by Matewos Gebremariam, Ethiopia’s Head of Standardization & Facilitation Department, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the discussion focused on formats that work in Africa, as well as trends. The high level panelists included Omar Carrera, Executive Assistant Manager, Sheraton Addis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Glenn Carroll, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, CHI Hotels and Resorts, Malta and Amr Kallini, General Manager, Movenpick Hotel, Media City.
Workshop 4: Hotel Market Trends: New Uses and Approaches

The next workshop, which was chaired by Tanzania’s Honorable Halima Mamuya (MP), focused on advocating for “Destination Africa.” Dr. Yaw Nyarko, Director of the Africa House at New York University, asked the panelists to speak about the need to create a collaborative working document that states why the tourism industry is important for Africa with the support of statistical analysis. Besa Muwele, Principal Statistician at Central Statistical Office of the African Development Bank spoke about the Bank’s efforts in this direction. Sarah Graham Mann, an Adjunct Professor at New York University spoke about the American market and suggested the ways African tour operators can attract the US marketplace.
Workshop 5: The Outlook and Opportunity for Advocacy and Entrepreneurship for Tourism in Africa

Karen Hoffman, ATA Board Member and Senior Vice President of the Bradford Group led a discussion on how ATA members can use social networking tools, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Blogging in attracting new audiences. The presenters included Emily Bayley, ATA Member Services and Development and New York University student, Llyod Murray, President, Palace Travel Inc., Philadelphia, Omar Carrera, Executive Assistant Manager, Sheraton Addis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Gregg Truman, ATA Board Member and Vice President of Marketing, South African Airways.
Workshop 6: Interactive & Dynamic Media & Internet - New Tools for the Travel Industry

The day wrapped up with a workshop on tourism industry trends. Peter J. Mwenguo, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board moderated the panel of leading experts who provided a bird’s-eye view of the current and future marketplace. Presenters included Dr. Gaynelle Henderson-Bailey, ATA Board Member and President of Henderson Associates/Henderson Travel Service, spoke about the upcoming African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference in Dar es Salaam Tanzania in October, 2009. Jani Nayar, Executive Coordinator, Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, spoke about accommodating special needs travelers and tourism across Africa. Ogo Sow, ATA Board Member and Advisor on Diaspora Affairs spoke about the important role the Africa Diaspora can play in the tourism industry. Shahinaz Reza Ahmed, CEO, Education for Employment Foundation in Egypt spoke about efforts to promote employment opportunities in Egypt through collaboration, and Munzali Dantata, Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Nigeria spoke about educational travel opportunities.
Workshop 7: Presentations on Destination Africa - Trends & Cross-Cutting Issues

At the end of the second day, congress delegates were invited by the large Tanzanian delegation to the Tanzanian President’s Dinner and 9th Annual Awards ceremony, one of the congress’s most popular events, which took place at the Four Seasons Hotel. As the host of the evening, Honorable Shamsa Mwangunga, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, presented awards to individuals and organizations who have helped promote Destination Tanzania over the last year. She also led the guests in an evening of Tanzanian food, dance and celebration. Click here for the press release.

 

 

The third day of programming began on Wednesday, May 20, with a workshop on Africa’s travel products. Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago, ATA board member, moderated the session that explored Africa’s diverse travel products, from culture and heritage tourism to youth travel and from fashion to sea and sun. Presenters included Ethiopia’s Honorable Tadelech Dalecho, State Minister for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Patricia Brown, ATA Board Member and President of KTI Express Travel in Sierra Leone, Chief Margaret Bolanle Idowu Fabiyi, ATA Board Member and President of WEBISCO, International Federation of Women Entrepreneurs and Tourism, David Omboga, Kenya ATA Chapter president and Eliseo Neuman, Director of the Africa Institute.

 

Workshop 8 Panel

Then, congress delegates heard from representatives of leading Africa-based airlines about the present situation and future plans of airlines to and in Africa. Moderated by Doris Wooten, ATA First Vice President, the high-lever panel included Ashraf Osman, General Manager, Sales, EgyptAir, Gregg Truman, ATA Board Member and Vice President of Marketing at South African Airways, Cornelia Wilson-Hunter, Manager of the Safe Skies for Africa Program at US Department of Transportation, and two representatives from Afriqiyah Airways Monder Abuuhalala and Abdulrauf Sagati,

 

DSC_0042

The final workshop focused on how to market “Destination Africa,” specifically what professionals need to know when doing business. Eran Ketter, a media strategist and researcher, spoke about the importance of marketing and branding in today’s cluttered environment; Lisa Simon, President and the National Tour Association (NTA) spoke about the increasing desire of North American tour operators to bring travelers and tourists to Africa and what professionals need to know when doing business in the marketplace. Dr. Adam Wu, Chief Operating Officer of China Business Network (CBN) gave insights on how to reach out to China’s marketplace.

The congress ended with a full-day tour in Cairo sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. Highlights included a visit to the Egyptian National Museum, the Giza Pyramids and the Khan El-Khalili market. Organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourism Authority, the host country day will conclude with a cruise on the Nile and a gala dinner at the Nile Maxim Floating restaurant.

 

 

To learn more about the Congress’ official carrier and accommodations, click here

Delegates can Explore Egypt Beyond the Monuments at ATA’s 34th Annual Congress in Cairo, Egypt

14 May

EXPLORE “EGYPT BEYOND THE MONUMENTS”
AT THE 34TH ANNUAL AFRICA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION CONGRESS
CAIRO, EGYPT, MAY 17-21, 2009

(March 9, 2009, New York, NY) Delegates to the 34th Annual Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress in Cairo May 17-21, 2009 will have an exciting opportunity to explore “Egypt Beyond the Monuments” on pre or post conference trips. Egypt is most well known for its world famous archaeological sites such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of Kings, the Valley of Queens, the Valley of Nobles, Edfu’s sandstone temple to name just a few. The Egyptian tourism product now offers visitors a much more diverse and contemporary range of experiences “Beyond the Monuments.”

Egypt Beyond the Monuments: Golf
In just 10 years, Egypt has gone from its original three standard-bearers to almost 20 world- class golf courses – with many more under construction or planned. The courses are spread right across the country. One can tee off in the historic heart of Cairo, and Cleopatra’s home city, Alexandria; play on courses which are part of huge, self-contained leisure complexes in Cairo’s suburbs; swing away on a pristine stretch of the Mediterranean coast; send a drive soaring towards the Luxor mountains where the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were buried; and sink putts on Red Sea Riviera courses from the Sinai Peninsula to the northern and western Red Sea coasts.

Golf with the Pyramids in the backdrop

It is golf of the very highest caliber. Famous names including Gary Player, Fred Couples and Karl Litten have already put their stamp on Egypt’s courses. New projects will bear the hallmarks of such luminaries as Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Jr, Jack Nicklaus and five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thompson.

Egypt Beyond the Monuments: The Holy Land
Egypt has played an important role in the history of Christianity’s Holy Family as well as in the roots of Judaism and Islam. Moses had deep ties to the country especially in the Sinai, and there are many Biblical sites that are of great significance to all of the three major monotheistic religions. Egypt’s population has been predominantly Muslim since the 12th to 13th centuries, though 10 % of the population is Coptic Christian. Although the ancient religion of the pharaohs, worshipping the God Ra or the conflict between Amon and Aton, will always be part of Egyptian mythology.

Egypt’s historical ties with the Holy family are not widely known. When Christ was an infant, the Holy Family fled to Egypt in fear of persecution by King Herod. Their four year sojourn took them from Al-Farma in the north east of Sinai to Al-Muharraq Monastery in the southern Nile Valley. Egyptian authorities have undertaken a major project to re-pave the “Route of the Holy Family” and give prominence to the religious landmarks along this route.

Visitors will also find it interesting to see many of the famous Mosques, Coptic Churches and Jewish Synagogues.

• Mosques
The most famous, El-Azhar (970 A.D.), stands in the centre of Cairo, the city of a thousand minarets. Worth looking at while strolling around Cairo’s Muslim quarter, in the area of the medieval Khan el-Khalili market: the El Gouri complex, the el-Ashraf Barsbay Mosque, the Sayyidna el-Hussein Mosque, the al-Saleh Talai Mosque, the el-Aqmar Mosque, the Ibn Toulon Mosque, the Sultan Hassan Mosque; and the famous Mohamed Ali Mosque.

Mohamed Ali Mosque

• Coptic Churches
Monasteries and places of worship: Old Cairo’s churches (St George’s church and convent, St Sergius’ and St Barbara’s churches, the “hanging” church), the Coptic Museum; In the Eastern desert, St Anthony’s, St Bishoi’s, St Katherine’s monasteries in Sinai, the Aswan Cathedral, Maadi and Gabal El-Teir churches etc., as well as many springs, wells, “sacred” trees such as Al Abed “the worshipper”, at Nazlet Ebeid-Minia.

• Synagogues
In Cairo: The Ben Ezra Synagogue in the Coptic quarter and the Sha’ar Hashhamayim Synagogue; In Alexandria, the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue.

Egypt Beyond the Monuments: Desert Tourism
Desert tourism offers adventure and a glimpse into the nomadic Bedouin culture. It can be explored by trekking, hiking, 4×4 land rovers as well as by camel. To the west of the Nile, the Western Desert contains numerous lush oases. Scattered in a wide arc like islands in an ocean of sand, the oases are accessible from Cairo and Luxor. In both cases, a week is needed for exploring these desert wonders and, in particular, visiting the Dakhla Oasis where the inhabitants have preserved their traditional settlement. The White Desert with its astonishing limestone formations and the Black Desert with its black, pyramidal hills are another two stopover sites en route.

Dromedaries

The desert on the Sinai Peninsula adds a spiritual dimension to the rich array of landscapes in this region. At the summit of Mount Moses (Mount Sinai) or in the Colored Canyon close to Nuweiba, in the Ras Muhammed natural park, one can truly experience the total serenity of the desert. A safari to south Sinai is not complete without a visit to the biggest of the region’s oases, Wadi Feiran.

Egypt Beyond the Monuments: Wellness
Socrates himself was singing the praises of Egypt’s healing therapies and spas some thousands of years ago. While Aswan was renowned for its rheumatic remedies, ancient tourists swarmed to Safaga to cure certain skin diseases such as psoriasis. Whether visitors want to bathe in sand or salt-rich seas, soak in hot springs or wrap oneself in curative clay, Egypt has centuries of experience in catering to its therapy keen tourists.
Aswan: Good for traditional Nubian therapies and environmental therapies including sand bathing and massages.

New Valley: With an abundance of bubbling hot springs, the hot water wells of the New Valley are naturally heated between 35-45 degrees all year round. One can also opt for sand bathing or sample various traditional medicinal herbs.

Red Sea: The whole Red Sea coast including Marsa Alam and Safaga offers a practically perfect climate for healing in rich mineral waters, with up to 35% more salt than the average sea.

The Red Sea

Oyoun Mossa and Hammam Pharaon: As well as having the most sulphuric waters in the world, both Oyoun Mossa and Hammam Pharaon boast a warm, dry climate that’s perfect for recuperating. Their success rate for curing all kinds of aches and pains is astonishingly high.

All the deluxe hotel resorts also have wellness and spa centers.

ATA Congress: “Connecting Destination Africa”
The four-day Africa Travel Association Congress, “Connecting Destination Africa,” will take place at the Cairo International Conference Center. The congress will engage participants in discussions on a range of topics, such as intra-Africa cooperation, airline access, tourism infrastructure development, tourism industry investment, branding and marketing, and responsible tourism. A special roundtable for ministers will take place, as well as the first African marketplace for buyers and sellers. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) are subsidizing hotel accommodations at the five-star Fairmont Heliopolis Hotel, for all delegates and providing transportation, logistical support, and a full day of tours in Cairo itself. The “host day” tour will include a visit to the only remaining Natural Wonder of the World, The Pyramids in Giza, as well as a visit to the National Museum.

Egypt Air, the official Congress Carrier, is offering discount rates for all delegates for as low as $711 (not including tax) round-trip New York/Cairo/New York in economy class on a first come basis. Egypt Air is a member of Star Alliance.

About The Africa Travel Association (ATA): ATA, a US based non-profit , Is the world’s premier travel industry trade association promoting tourism to Africa and intra Africa travel and partnerships since 1975. ATA members include ministries of tourism and culture, national tourism boards, airlines, hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, travel trade media, public relations firms, NGOs and SMEs.

For more information about Egypt: http://www.egypt.travel
For more information about the ATA Congress and for online ATA Egypt Congress registration: http://www.africatravelassociation.org

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Editorial Contact:
Karen Hoffman
The Bradford Group
(212) 447-0027
Bradfordmktg@aol.com

Discover the Lure of Egypt’s Destinations

14 May

DISCOVER THE LURE OF EGYPT’S SEA COAST DESTINATIONS
AT THE 34TH ANNUAL AFRICA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION CONGRESS
CAIRO, EGYPT, MAY 17-21, 2009

(April 3, 2009, New York, NY) Delegates to the 34th Annual Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress in Cairo May 17-21, 2009 will have an exciting opportunity to discover Egypt’s’ rapidly developing sea coast destinations on pre or post conference trips.

Alexandria, on the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt’s second largest city, is the gateway to one of the hot spots for development on the north coast. Along the Red Sea coast and on the Sinai Peninsula, the popular and well known Sharm el-Sheikh is now joined by some other tourist centers like Hurghada, Marsa Alam and the newly opened luxurious Marina complex at Port Ghalib. This coastal boom is due in large part to the increased air access with the opening of new regional international airports.

Alexandria Sea Port by Day

EGYPT’S SEA COAST DESTINATIONS: ALEXANDRIA
Alexandria, or “Alex” as it is affectionately called by Egyptians and those “in the know,” is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.” Rich in History and culture, Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, served as the capital of Grecco-Roman Egypt and was also the setting for the stormy relationship between Anthony and Cleopatra. Few people know that it also boasted the famous Pharos lighthouse that was one of the original Wonders of the Ancient World along with the Pyramids. Ancient Alexandria was also the center of learning and the Alexandria Library was the largest in the World.

Only 225 km from Cairo, Modern Alexandria is the country’s largest Seaport and an important year-round tourist destination. There is no question that the romantic image and attraction of this exotic Mediterranean port was made famous by many western authors, including Lawrence Durell, who made it the setting for his famous novel, “The Alexandria Quartet.” The Cecil Hotel mentioned in his book is a wonderful example of post colonial architecture, and is being renovated by Sofitel to become one of their new “Legend” hotels.

Alexandria has many ancient landmarks and archaeological sites to explore including the Roman Amphitheatre, the Villa Al Toyour (Birds Villa), the first Mosaic Museum in Egypt, the Al Anfushi Tombs, El Shatby Necropolis, Pompey’s Pillar and the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. The Graeco-Roman Museum has a fascinating collection which covers the period from the 34 th Century BC to the 7th Century AD. One of the foremost Alexandrian landmarks today is the Sultan Qaitbey Fort, on the original site of the “Pharos” lighthouse.

Bibliotecha Alexandria and planned Underwater Museum to Boost City’s Tourism
It is the more than its millions of books that attract over 800,000 visitors annually to the new state-of-the-art “Bibliotecha Alexandria” (Alexandria Library) opened in 2002 and built in the shape of a disc facing the Mediterranean. Its geodesic dome houses a lecture hall and Planetarium equipped with an IMAX screen and a Museum of Archaeology. The basement contains 8000 ancient manuscripts and rare books. Definitely a must-see for visitors to Alexandria.

Ambitious plans to create Egypt’s first Underwater Museum will complement the excitement of Alexandria’s Library. In the year 356, Alexandria was hit by a tsunami, followed by subsequent earthquakes. The result was that some of the city’s greatest archaeological treasures were buried in the sea. Since 1994, divers have been excavating sphinxes, granite blocks and what are thought to be pieces of the Pharos lighthouse. The grand vision for the Underwater Museum in Alexandria calls for an immersed fiber glass tunnel that will allow visitors a dry place to view these ancient monuments.

The real lure of Alexandria, however, is the tantalizing rhythm of this City, which ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea. To experience the local “Alex” the visitor must wander its labyrinth of streets in the ancient quarters, and join the locals at sun set as they promenade along the Corniche as it winds its way around the harbor.

Alexandria by Night

THE NORTH COAST BEYOND ALEXANDRIA
West of Alexandria lie miles of beautiful white sandy beaches, stretching along the Mediterranean Sea to the border with Libya. This Mediterranean coastline has been the focus of new development and increased air access. The North Coast is now served by airports in Alexandria, El-Alamein, Borg el-Arab and Marsa Matruh. The seaside resorts, ranging from the ultra luxurious to more modest family resorts, are popular during the summer time with both local and foreign tourists.

Mariut: 15 km west of Alexandria
The region’s climate is ideal for spa tourism and relaxation. In addition to Lake Mariut, there are the extensive remains of the early Christian City of Abu Mena.

Agami: 25 Km West of Alexandria
Now the meeting-place for the jet set, Agami is called the “Egyptian Saint-Tropez” with fashionable restaurants, nightclubs, luxury cars and villas. Swimming however is restricted to private beaches.

Abu Sir: 50km West of Alexandria
Abu Sir is the name given by the Bedouins to the ancient Ptolemaic city of Tappsiris Magna. However, all that remains of the city is the 30m-high lighthouse, a quarter–sized replica of the “Ancient Wonder of the World” Lighthouse that had stood in Alexandria’s port. Three beautiful beaches are located nearby.

Borg el-Arab: 60km West of Alexandria
Founded in 1988 by President Mubarak, Borg el-Arab has become a prestigious destination. With the opening of the Hilton Hotel, it is an ideal family resort and has excellent water sports facilities.

El-Alamein/Marina El Alamein: 106 Km from Alexandria
A port city known primarily as the site of historic World War II battles, El Alamein has now emerged as one of Egypt’s most exclusive resorts. The Marina El Alamein, with Venice-like canals, is comprised of luxurious villas, chalets and upscale shops.

Sidi Abdel Rahman: 125 Km from Alexandria
This wonderful bay is one of the best-kept secrets of Egypt’s entire north coast. The village has managed to preserve its traditional Bedouin way of life and remains relatively underdeveloped, guaranteeing an air of authenticity. The only hotel catering for tourists, El-Alamein, offers visitors pristine beaches.

Marsa Matruh: 240 km West of Alexandria
Totally to the other extreme from Sidi Abdel Rahman, Marsa Matruh is a large city, which is packed during the summer. Popular for its lovely bay, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Marsa Matruh is said to have been founded by Alexander the Great on his way to the Siwa Oasis.

EGYPT’S SEA COAST DESTINATIONS: SINAI PENINSULA
Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh, more often referred to as “Sharm”, is an ideal resort for diving and swimming with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and the Ras Mohamad National Park. Visitors can select from a wide range of accommodations–five star luxuries to budget hotels. It is also an excellent jumping off point for tours to some of the historic places in the Sinai, including St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of “Jebel Musa” where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Desert Safaris feature visits to a Bedouin village and a camel ride in the desert sands.

For smaller, peaceful resorts with beautiful beaches and wonderful diving and snorkeling one should not miss Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba, all north of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Red Sea Coast: Hurgada
Once a small fishing village founded in the early 20th Century, Hurgada is now one of the foremost tourist resorts along the Red Sea and world famous as a center for international aquatic sports. Known as the center for diving, water sports and night life, it is also known to the Europeans as a “party town.” The developments north and south of the city offer visitors more peaceful options including golf. The many beautiful islands off shore offer wonderful snorkeling and diving day trips.

El Gourna, 20 kms north of Hurgada, is luxury resort comlpex with a marina, another “must see” on this coast.

Red Sea Coast: Port Ghalib Marina and Resort Complex
The recently opened Port Ghalib Marina and Resort Complex, five minutes from the new Marsa Alam International Airport, is definitely the new “buzz” on the Red Sea. A yachtsmen’s paradise, this ultra deluxe resort with a marina (can accommodate 1000 boats) and four hotels (the five-star deluxe Intercontinental Palace Port Ghalib Resort, the five star twin Crowne Plaza properties, Sahara Sands and Sahara Oasis, and the four- star Marina Lodge Port Ghalib, will certainly rival that of the more established resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurgada.

ATA CONGRESS: “CONNECTING DESTINATION AFRICA”
The theme of the four-day Africa Travel Association Congress is “Connecting Destination Africa.” The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) are subsidizing hotel accommodations for all delegates and providing transportation, logistical support, and a full day of tours in Cairo itself. The “host day” tour will include a visit to the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, The Pyramids in Giza, as well as a visit to the National Museum.

Egypt Air, the official Congress Carrier, is offering discount rates for all delegates for as low as $711 (not including tax) round-trip New York/Cairo/New York in economy class on a first come basis. Egypt Air is a member of Star Alliance.

For more information about Egypt: http://www.egypt.travel
For more information about the ATA Congress and for online ATA Egypt Congress registration: http://www.africatravelassociation.org

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Editorial Contact:
Karen Hoffman
The Bradford Group
(212) 447-0027
Bradfordmktg@aol.com

The Cairo Tower Reopens in Time for the Congress!

14 May

THE LANDMARK CAIRO TOWER REOPENS IN TIME TO DAZZLE
AFRICA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (ATA) DELEGATES COMING FOR
THE 34TH ANNUAL CONGRESS MAY 17-21, 2009

The 60 Story High Icon Boasts New State-Of-The-Art Nighttime Lighting Effects
And Panoramic View Restaurants

CAIRO, EGYPT, May 13, 2009 – Cairo’s famous icon, the 60 story high Cairo Tower, has just reopened with stunning new LED nighttime light effects and panoramic view restaurants. This Cairo landmark will most certainly be an added attraction for the delegates participating in the 34th Annual Congress of The Africa Travel Association (ATA) scheduled to open Sunday, May 17 at the Conrad Nile Hotel in Cairo.

The ATA Congress, hosted by the Hon.Zoheir Garranah, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Amr El Ezaby, Chairman, Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA), will bring together travel industry professionals from the US, Canada and Africa including tourism ministers, tourist boards, airlines, hoteliers, ground operators, as well as representatives from business, non-profit and development sectors, to address some of the challenges facing the travel, tourism, transport and hospitality industries across Africa.

High profile Egyptian speakers will include, among others, the Minister of Tourism, the ETA Chairman, Hisham Zaazou, First Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Ahmed El Nahas, Chairiman Egyptian Tourism Federation and Elhamy El Zayat, Chairman, Emeco Travel.

Other featured speakers will include Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism and ATA President, Eddie Bergman, ATA Executive Director, Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy, Ray Whelan, Official Representative for Accommodation, Ticketing, Hospitality and Technology for FIFA World Cups 2010 and Lisa Simon, President, US- based National Tour Association (NTA).

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism will host all ATA Congress delegates on a full-day tour to the National Museum in Cairo and to the Pyramids that will conclude with a dinner cruise on the Nile.

“The Cairo Tower has always been a point of reference in the City for visitors as well as Egyptians,” said Mr. Sayed Khalifa, Director, Egyptian Tourist Office for US and Latin America. “Now with four diverse restaurants, and the unmatched panoramic views of Cairo and its famous sites, the Cairo Tower is once again a tourist attraction. Although not part of the official tour, we encourage the ATA delegates to find time to visit the Cairo Tower on their own and enjoy the spectacular view and some of the wonderful restaurants.”

The highest spot in Cairo, enhanced with strategically placed telescopes, The Panoramic View on the top floor offers spectacular views of the Egypt’s bustling Metropolis. The 360 Revolving Restaurant on the 59th floor, offers an array of International cuisine. The Garden Coffee shop on the 60th floor of the Cairo Tower has a more informal dining atmosphere. The new VIP Restaurant and Lounge features luxurious furnishings and an elegant upscale menu. The Tower now also has space for meetings and conferences. The visiting hours are from 9AM to Midnight.

For more information on Egypt visit http://www.egypt.travel; for more information on the ATA Congress, registration and program visit http://www.africatravelassociation.org.
Editorial Contact:
Karen Hoffman
The Bradford Group
(212) 447-0027

Cairo Tower

ATA News & Views (Volume 1.1, May 8, 2009)

8 May

ATA CONGRESS NEWS & VIEWS
Volume 1.1, May 8, 2009

IN THIS ISSUE
* Welcome to ATA Congress News & Views
* News
* Next Issue

WELCOME TO ATA CONGRESS NEWS AND VIEWS
This is the first issue of ATA Congress News & Views, the e-newsletter of ATA’s 34th Annual Congress, which opens in less than ten days in Cairo, Egypt. This e-newsletter is being launched in conjunction with a new congress blog on ATA’s website, and a Facebook Fan Page. We aim to give you insight into the Congress for its entire duration.

Each issue will be organized like this one, with a short editorial note and news about the Congress. We also plan to bring you short profiles on leaders of the travel and tourism industry participating in the Congress. These issues, as well as other online content will be written and edited by the ATA Communications Team.

We look forward to you bringing you the most exciting news from Cairo.

NEWS
ATA 34th Congress to be held in Cairo, Egypt, May 17-21, 2009
The Egyptian Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Egyptian Tourist Authority, will host ATA’s 34th Annual Congress in the capital city of Cairo from May 17-22, 2009.
Read it at ATA’s Website

ATA Introduces African Bazaar

ATA will introduce a marketplace specializing in Africa at the Congress on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. Titled “African Bazaar,” the marketplace provides a forum for travel trade buyers and sellers to sign up for pre-scheduled, one-on-one appointments devoted to networking and building business linkages.
Read it at ATA’s Website

Register for the Congress!
It is still not too late to participate in the Egypt Congress. Register Here. To learn more about the Congress’ official carrier and accommodations, click here.

NEXT ISSUE
* ATA Congress Delegate Profile
* Speaker Spotlight
* And more!

Welcome to the New ATA Congress Blog!

8 May

Dear Members, Supporters & Friends of ATA,

Welcome and thank you for visiting our new blog on ATA’s 34th Annual Congress in Cairo, Egypt.

This blog will feature ATA Congress News & Views as it unfolds.

For more information about the Congress, click here.

Also, check out our new Facebook Fan Page, click here

To watch video on ATA click here.

To become a member click here.

Stay tuned for more news about the Congress.

Thank you,

ATA Communications Team