People, Travel

Mixed Reaction to Egypt Campaign

Mixed Reaction to Egypt CampaignMixed Reaction to Egypt Campaign

Twenty days have passed since the launching of the #ThisisEgypt hashtag to promote tourism on social media platforms; but interaction remains low on Facebook and twitter, while Instagram and YouTube had a better chance at garnering attention.

Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou launched the campaign in an effort to dispel what he views as a negative impression of tourism in Egypt.

Egypt has been striving to overcome the negative effects of the recent crash of a Russian commercial jet over the Sinai Peninsula, which killed all 224 people on board, leading to the banning of flights to Sharm al-Sheikh by Russia, Turkey and UK, Cairo-based news website Aswat Masriya reported.

The hashtag relies on individuals, particularly influential youth with large following on social media, posting pictures of their personal travel experiences. The ministry entrusted well-known marketing communications brand J. Walter Thompson to run the campaign.

However, interaction on social media did not meet the minister’s expectations.

Most of the posts on social media platforms were not representative of the main idea posited by the campaign, but rather contributions of news websites regarding the tourism sector mainly dominated the scene.

Other contributions came from specialized pages that deliver travel advice and offer guidance with hotels, restaurants and pricing packages.

In many instances, the #ThisisEgypt hashtag backfired as it was used by opponents of the current regime to post images that reveal security forces’ violations as well as images of Egyptians killed during post-June 30 protests.

Others posted images reflecting some of the ailments of Egyptian society such as sexual harassment, traffic congestion, littering and mistreatment of tourists particularly by workers at archeological sites.

Meanwhile, other contributions included images of attractions in Egypt along with positive comments on the beauty of the Red Sea and the Western Desert.