Dear Advisor Partners,
Life works in very strange ways. I had two thoughts this past week. First, I cannot believe we are in the second half of 2021 already. This time last year, the months seem to drag on. 30 days felt like 300. This year, those same 30 days feels like 3 days. While there is still uncertainty in the world, the progress from 12 months ago cannot be denied. And with just over 5 months left in the year, I began thinking about plans for festive travel. I thought about where everyone seemed to want to be this holiday season. The usual suspects were back, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, etc. the one that jumped off the page to me was Egypt and Jordan, currently one of the top requests for festive travel in 2021.
This led to my second thought and explains why our exciting video this week is about Egypt and Jordan. I remembered driving down Interstate 95 towards the hotel where the USTOA conference was being held, in south Florida, me in the driver seat (obeying all speed limits for those that wonder), and in the passenger seat, our Egypt country manager Gamal. This was 2 years after the famous protests in Tahrir Square, with tourism in Egypt taking a harsh body blow as a result. Gamal looked tired, yet never broken, cautiously optimistic for better days ahead with all signs confirming those days were coming. There was a new Minister of Tourism and he had all these new ideas to break the mold of marketing Egypt. There was a renewed focus on archaeological discovery with excavations resuming and nationalistic pride of Egypt that rivaled pride in the country’s sports celebrities. This must all sound similar today. That conversation with Gamal was one I will never forget, the contents of which still teach me today. You see, we were talking about the need to revive tourism in Egypt and the new minister of tourism and how his focus was worth believing in, that he understood why it was so necessary. Beyond the 1 in 6 jobs that are tourism derived in Egypt, there was something more powerful to remember – tourism was and remains the largest employer of women in Egypt. Gamal and I talked about how this new at the time minister understood that. Then Gamal said something which I still think is pretty profound. As we talked about the level of understanding the world has about Egypt’s path, he said, “Ashish nobody will ever fully understand what Egypt is going through. They didn’t have their hand in the fire as we did.” He’s right.
So imagine my delight when I see festive 2021, and Egypt and Jordan are among the top destinations Big Five guests are looking for. Whether it’s due to the now famous ‘Mummy Parade’ back in April as the procession moved them to their new museum home, or the anticipation of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, this surge in travel to Egypt was definitely a long time coming, and a welcome change. As our video says, we know what guests in this region will be doing on New Year’s Day. What will you be doing?
Check out our Egypt Days of History to get an idea of the trip you could be experiencing this festive season.