Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News: Egypt Encourages Foreigners to Visit Ancestors’ WWII Graves

A new tourism project aimed at relatives of World War II (WWII) dead is scheduled to start, said Alaa Ezz, the Secretary General of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) and the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEEBA).

The project, entitled GOALS, aims to promote foreigners visiting deceased family members who were buried in Egypt during WWII. “We have around 180,000 people buried in El Alamein during WWII from the UK, Germany, France and Italy,” Ezz said. “We created a database of them.”

The project will be promoted gradually and immediate feedback is not expected. “It will be a long term project but we have done the math for the existing pyramid of children and grandchildren,” he said.

The government is expecting this project to bring in about one million tourists over the course of several years, Ezz noted. This is one of three projects the government is launching in cooperation with the European Union to increase tourism.

Ezz highlighted that the tourism sector booms in Alexandria during the summer season, but faces challenges for the rest of the year, as it relies mainly on “beach tourism”. These newly launched projects will seek to “activate during the rest of the year”.

Culinary tourism, which comprises 6% of the global tourism, will be one of the projects being promoted during the conference with the launch of the MedDiet project.

“[Through this project] we are trying to promote the Mediterranean diet  with placing labels on the restaurants [that serve such a diet] and through mobile applications and showing labels for certified restaurants at the airports,” Ezz said. This project is catering to Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Spain, Italy and Greece.

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