Visitors to the coastal resort town of Dahab were treated to live music and a variety of water sports in a festival sponsored by the Egyptian Tourist Authority recently.
The event, in its second year running, was part of the government’s initiative to increase national revenue through one of the country’s main economic sources, tourism.
“We’ve emphasized what’s going on in Dahab tourist-wise and next year as well what we’re going to try and do is bring people in, work with tour operators and get people to come in on organize packages and things like that. But I think it’s starting to put Dahab on the map, it’s a pretty unique place, it’s not like Sharm and Hurghada where it’s more like mass tourism. There’s a lot more culture in Dahab and certainly the scene is more gauged towards sports and activities,’’ Dahab Festival organizer Hayden Falloon told Reuters.
The ETA said this event was launched as a forefront in tourism promotion, and organizers hope it will grow internationally in an effort to showcase what Dahab has to offer to visitors.
The organization is planning a beach cleanup day in September involving resort towns on the Red Sea coast, such as Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.
The tourism industry along with the rest of Egypt’s economy suffered as a result of a national uprising as part of last year’s Arab Spring which resulted in the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. According to the tourism minister, around 14.7 million visitors visited the country in 2010, but the number dropped to 9.8 million in 2011.
Before the uprising, tourism accounted for more than a tenth of Egypt’s gross domestic product.