The pandemic has pushed tourism ministries all over the world to adopt out of the box marketing strategies to save the tourism sector of respective countries from sinking into unforeseeable losses. Catering to the advantages of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, some ministries are working with various global travel influencers to improve tourist arrivals.
One country that is engaging with global travel influencers in a rather hypocritical way is Egypt. Under the guise of its “Experience Egypt” marketing campaign, the populous Arab country is encouraging international travel influencers to follow practices that it otherwise doesn’t permit local travellers to partake.
Recently, a global travel influencer —Bé Hà Nguyen was seen promoting post pandemic Egypt over her Instagram page. Posted with #ExperienceEgypt, one picture showed her in a bikini at a Red Sea beach resort while kissing her partner. By adopting such marketing strategies, Egypt is claiming that it believes in such display of personal freedom.
In reality, several travellers who visited Egypt recently claim that the country is quite fanatical about public display of affection. Besides being critical of travellers’ clothing, the country’s repressive rules about homosexuality refrain LGBTQ+ travellers from exploring it as a tourist spot. As per travel journalist Asher Fergusson, homosexual travellers shouldn’t disclose about their sexuality in Egypt or they could fall under the government’s radar.
Even as Egypt attempts to boost its domestic tourism sector by luring global travel influencers, local travel bloggers and photographers seem to be disappointed. Since most of Egypt’s tourism earnings come from foreign tourists, the government engages with international influencers who have an increasing number of international followers.
Many Egyptian travel influencers were ignored in the government’s plans to lure international tourists post pandemic. This has affected the earnings of many related to the travel and tour industry. Yet the government fails to protect the interests of all local travel influencers who are barely surviving amidst the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the authorities continue to present a picturesque Egypt, which travellers claim does not exist! This form of hypocrisy is definitely not something that a traveller expects from destination country. It remains to be seen if people will tolerate such influencer content that ignores social injustices.