Egypt rolls out innovative web features

The Egyptian Tourism Authority has unveiled a host of innovative new features on its international website www.egypt.travel. Mr Ahmed El Khadem, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, commented: ‘Since launching just nine months ago we have welcomed a staggering 2.2 million visitors to the website.

The latest enhancements are part of our ongoing efforts to provide visitors to Egypt with the best available advice and resources to help them make the most of their trip to our fascinating country.’

The newly revamped portal reflects the Egyptian Tourist Authority’s new branding, and features an updated layout with even more detailed content as well as extensive information on 15 key destinations. It also features a wealth of things to see and do, and has also been further enhanced with several unique interactive elements, including a new sound-enhanced Egyptian dictionary.

The online Arabic lexicon www.lexicon.egypt.travel enables travellers to learn some of the essential phrases and words used in day-to-day situations that they may encounter on a holiday to Egypt. Based on five different travel-themed scenarios - airport, taxi, hotel, restaurant and souk - the lexicon displays a series of images and audio dialogues which can also be downloaded (PDF and MP3) to allow for further practice.

Mr. El Khadem explained: ‘Our aim is to provide travellers with a one-stop online resource that not only features essential and useful destination information to travellers and trade alike, but also boasts innovative features to enhance the browsing experience still further.’

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He added: ‘Through the newly added Arabic lexicon and our upcoming link-up with Google Earth, featuring satellite views of destinations and tourist sights, visitors can now begin their Egyptian adventure before they go.’

Egypt was the first international tourist board to pioneer the new ‘.travel’ domain name. In another industry first, the revamped website now also enables children and adults alike to learn to communicate in the ancient language of the Pharaohs by sending their own E-cards - written in actual hieroglyphics - through www.hieroglyph.egypt.travel to friends and family who would then use the website’s hieroglyph function to translate the card into modern languages.

In addition to the improved easy-to-use navigation system, users are also able to create their own personal bookmark www.my.egypt.travel to download their favourite sections, enabling swift and direct access on subsequent visits. This function also enables users to generate a range of holiday ideas, such as sites, places to see, and activities they would like to try, by selecting specific criteria such as ‘preferred activities’.

This is complemented by the personalised My Travel notebook which allows visitors to save, download and share their favourite travel ideas. Guests can also print out these personalized travel options and take them to their preferred travel agent to get more information or to make a booking for when they next visit Egypt.

www.egypt.travel is currently available in six languages (soon in nine languages), with editorial content, photographs and news tailored for each language featuring alongside new services such as an internal search engine. The new automatic country and browser language detection functionalities also ensure that visitors are automatically directed to the correct language website, based on the country from which a given visitor is accessing the site.

Launched in March 2006, www.egypt.travel continues to feature important travel information such as visa requirements and useful phone numbers to help visitors have an enjoyable stay in Egypt. Currently available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, www.egypt.travel is one of the key initiatives of Egypt’s integrated marketing campaign. Entitled ‘Gift of the Sun’, the campaign is designed to double global visitor numbers from eight million in 2004, to reach 16 million by 2014.

A second dedicated website www.trade.egypt.travel which caters to the Travel and Tourism trade and press will also be re-launched’ in March 2007 following a complete revamp. The site is now offered to 18 different countries in 13 different languages, including all Scandinavian languages, Czech, and Polish.

Both websites offer the possibility to subscribe to online services, with 4,129 travel agents registering on the trade site to date, and over 13,320 users from 15 different nationalities requesting a monthly newsletter, exclusive offers and competitions through the Egypt fan club, ‘LovEgypt Club’.

The new revamped website goes live on February 01 2007. Additional language versions of the site will be rolled out in spring 2007.
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