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Frank Naboulsi Frank Naboulsi

Frank Naboulsi, Regional Vice President, Luxury and Upper Upscale Brands, Egypt Accorhotels

AFTER A SUCCESSFUL YEAR IN TERMS OF TOURISM, THE CULTURE AND LEISURE SECTORS ARE STILL THE MOST POPULAR REASONS WHY TOURISTS CHOOSE EGYPT AS A DESTINATION.

FRANK NABOULSI, GENERAL MANAGER, FAIRMONT NILE CITY, GIVES HIS INSIGHT AS TO HOW THESE SECTORS CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTRY’S INCREASING TOURIST ARRIVALS.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: How successful was 2017 for Fairmont Nile City?

FRANK NABOULSI: The tourism sector witnessed many changes that impacted the industry positively as a whole. There has been an increase in demand, especially because the destination is more affordable to foreign markets due to the flotation of our currency. The government has also sponsored multiple advertising campaigns, with the most recent being This is Egypt which won the Middle East’s Best Tourism Promotional Video at the World Tourism Organization’s general assembly in China, beating 63 other contestants.

This has definitely affected Fairmont Nile City, especially since it is a market leader with a constant healthy year-over-year growth.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are your main feeder markets, and what are the main reasons they choose Egypt as a destination?

FRANK NABOULSI: Fairmont Nile City has a healthy nationality mix from diversified markets; however, our current main feeder market is the GCC region. This is due to common geographical, political and historical backgrounds, as well as culture, language, the authentic experience and value-for-money.

However, as travel bans were lifted many targeted markets are actually looking forward to coming back to Egypt; including, the US, Japan, and East Europe.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: Have you seen any markets shift, compared to past years?

FRANK NABOULSI: With the tourism sector being a dynamic one, a lot of trends are always being witnessed in the industry. 2017’s most recognisable trend was weekend travellers, especially from the GCC region.

As for the business sector, the corporate segment witnessed a huge comeback, due to the increase in investments taking place.

With the main feeder market being the GCC, 40 percent, that is due to the fact that Cairo will always remain the heart of the Arab world, in addition to the fact that Egypt has become a great value-for-money destination.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: Egypt is also a popular activities destination. What do you offer to your guests to cater to this need?

FRANK NABOULSI: Egypt’s tourism industry is among the most diverse and vibrant in the world. Beyond the pristine beaches and year-round sunshine, Egypt’s long and varied history, rich cultural heritage and unique geography features make it a popular destination for adventure, culture, eco, sailing, diving, health, religious, and eco-tourism.

As for Fairmont Nile City, the hotel always has something new to offer its guests. In the past couple of years, it has been known as a hub of entertainment in the city with a strong line-up of entertainers which cater to all our market mix.

As today’s travellers demand and seek out experiences, we capitalise on our unique qualities and add memorable experiences, rather than cutting prices to compete.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What other activities are available for visitors who want to choose Egypt as a leisure or MICE destination?

FRANK NABOULSI: Cultural tourism is a main driver to Cairo where history is blended with culture and sightseeing to give an unprecedented experience.

However, and apart from general gems such as the Pyramids, Luxor, and Aswan, Egypt has many pristine locations such as El Gouna, North Coast, Sahl Hashesh, and Soma Bay, to name a few, all destinations with gold sand beaches that can also easily compete with the world’s best, such as; Maldives, Mauritius, Hawaii, and French Rivera.