The Egyptian Tourist Authority’s participated in Tourism-A, the international Archeology Exhibition in Florence, Italy, where it exhibited an exact replica of the famous tomb of Tutankhamun. This event alone attracted the interest of thousands of visitors.
According to the Director of Egyptian Tourism in Italy, Emad Fathy Abdalla, this will be the theme for a series of promotional initiatives that will be channeled to the Italian travel trade specialized to the destination. “We hope to re-start a number of charter operations to Egypt from Rome, Bologna, Naples, and Bari within early March, and we are in talks with ASTOI (the association of tour operators) to repeat, if possible, the past years’ successful initiative, “United for Egypt.” “We know that we have the support of the travel tourism sector that can help [us] to get back to doing important numbers,” said Abdalla.
After reaching the record of almost one million Italian tourists to Egypt, the destination slowly lost a significant number due to adverse Italy/Egypt political and diplomatic events. The year ending 2016 counted only 130,000 arrivals from Italy. However, time will hopefully erase the wounds, and strategic initiatives such as Tourism-A is seen as a positive contribution to the resumption of Italians seeing Egypt as a favorite destination.
Three days full of immersion at Archeo
The three-day Tourism-A exhibition was a full immersion for lovers of archeology. Events were dedicated to Egypt, with meetings and conferences attended by eminent Egyptologists as well as other international archaeological destinations of excellence such as Jordan, Turkey, Cyprus, Croatia, and for the first-time, Algeria.
The event was inaugurated by Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Heritage and Cultural Activities and Tourism, and the participation of other institutional figures such as the Minister of Tourism of Croatia, Gari Cappelli, who presented the new Losinj museum with a bronze statue of “Apoxyómenos” from around 2,000 years ago depicting a young Greek athlete. The statue was discovered in 1999 near the island of Lošinj, and previously exhibited in Zagreb, Florence, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. The Minister of Culture of Greece, Lydia Koniordou, updated the application for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Athens, currently at the British Museum in London.
Piero Pruneti, Director of TourismA, said: “This edition is the definitive consecration of the event already regarded as the most important for the promotion of cultural heritage in Europe.” The number of exhibitors were over 100 and the program consisted of almost 200 meetings, seminars, and conferences conducted by high-profile guests such as Piero and Alberto Angela (father and son producers of important documentaries for Italian Rai-Radio-TV); Franco Cardini, essayist on historical medieval studies; and Valerio Massimo Manfredi, historical writer.”
Talks were made on Italian cultural heritage, from Pompeii to the South Tyrol Museum dedicated to Otzi – the frozen mummy now in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology – as well as the critical situation in other foreign countries with immense architectural treasures, like those of Syria and Iraq. Last but not least, the case containing the seeds of grapes found inside the most famous burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh and revived by an Italian experiential wine grower, was on display.