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More than half of tourists worldwide see Egypt as a ‘must visit’ destination, the results of a poll reveal.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism revealed the findings at ITB in Berlin while announcing a new ‘This is Egypt’ advertising and marketing campaign in a number of key markets.

Tourism minister Hisham Zaazou, outlined Egypt’s commitment to make sure that people around the world have a safe, secure and enjoyable experience when visiting the country.

His comments came two days after Thomas Cook scrapped its entire summer programme from the UK to Sharm el-Sheikh amid a continuing flight ban to the Red Seas resort’s airport following the downing of a Russian passenger jet killing all 224 people on board last October.  

Egyptian tourism officials used ITB to try to offset concerns about travel to the country.

Research by US polling company Penn Schoen Berland was issued, showing that 61% of tourists around the world say that Egypt is a place they want to visit in their lifetimes.

The study found that 53% defined the country as a destination that will be a ‘must visit’ or ‘next big thing’ in the future. 

Zaazou outlined how tourism can be part of the solution at a time when there are great challenges in the world, from economic struggles, to inequality and conflict.

“Tourism can be part of the solution,” he said. “Diplomacy brings together governments to solve global issues. It provides the framework for collaboration that allows us to achieve great things and to improve the world in which we live.

“As part of that I believe that tourism is an essential bridge builder between peoples and countries. Tourism provides the opportunity to open our minds to new places, new cultures, and ideas.

“It unites us as different people with a shared appreciation for an enjoyable experience, or a beautiful location, or a special activity.

“There is no better way for us to encourage tolerance and co-operation amongst people, to complement the hard work of our governments, than tourism.”