Egypt hands "safe to visit" brief to Rooster PR amid ongoing strife

Rooster PR has been hired to promote Egyptian holiday destinations as "safe to visit" for Britons after a collapse in tourism amid clashes between the military-backed government and protestors.

Red Sea destinations: Rooster will only promote sites deemed safe by the FCO
Red Sea destinations: Rooster will only promote sites deemed safe by the FCO

The agency has been engaged on a year-long brief by the government’s Egyptian Tourist Authority as it seeks to reassure stakeholders and the public.

The number of tourists visiting the country is reported to have dropped by almost 46 per cent in August compared with last year, according to Bloomberg News.

Hundreds of Egyptians have died this year in clashes between supporters of Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was ousted as president in July, and their opponents and state forces.

Morsi is set to go on trial next month on charges of inciting murder and violence in Cairo last December.

However, Rooster’s MD James Brooke emphasised that Britons would only be encouraged to return to the country in line with the stated travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

"Our agency is non-political and this is a non-political role. Our role is to promote tourism, and a big part of that will be working with key travel partners such as tour operators and airlines.

"We will be promoting places that are deemed by the FCO to be fine, such as the Red Sea, and the reality on the ground is that many tourist destinations are completely safe. The rest of our role is to have an open dialogue with the media."

The agency's first priority will be to organise a press conference for the minister of tourism at the annual World Travel Market in November.

The press conference will see Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou, address the media and answer questions on the destination's plans for the next 12 months.

Omayma El Husseini, director UK & Ireland at the Egyptian Tourist Authority, added: "We want to effectively communicate that the country's key tourism destinations are safe to visit. We are looking forward to working closely with James and his team at Rooster PR."

Rooster also handles the tourist office brief for Tunisia, where an uprising against autocrat president Ben Ali kicked off the Arab Spring in 2010.

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