The Egyptian government has suspended its European and US tourism advertising in the wake of the current international crisis.

Hotel occupancies in tourist areas are expected to be down by as much as 80% from last year, with the number of foreign visitors to the country forecast to come in below 3 million in the twelve months from October 1, in contrast to the 5m in 2000.

Given current concerns about terrorism, there is no point advertising in Europe or America, says Hazem Dera, chairman of Lowe affiliate Look Advertising, which handles Egypt’s tourist advertising.

“We have stopped all our activities and we will start when the tourism business becomes normal,” he commented. “We prefer to save our money and have a strong campaign next year. It’s not worthwhile when they are worrying about the crisis.”

According to Dera, Egypt spent around $28m on its tourism campaign in the 2000 season and more in 2001. He added that “in 2002 we will go up 25%”, though he did not know when ads would resume.

News source: AdAge Global