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Marketing: Tourism in Egypt Report (Assessment)

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Introduction

Dallen J. Timothy and Gyan P. Nyaupane, in their classical tourism book titled, “Cultural heritage and tourism in the developing world: a regional perspective” observe that every region in the world possess unique histories, cultures, political traditions, heritages, issues and problems and the methods that have been employed in solving the various different issues differ from one region to another1.

Cultural heritage tourism, as it may be known has evolved from the understanding that heritage constitutes a fertile ground and area that people (tourists) can draw pleasure and learning experience. Therefore, this assignment is going to be an assessment of cultural heritage tourism particularly dwelling on tutankhamun heritage and exhibitions.

Factors that have contributed to tutankhamun mania

Tutankhamun exhibitions are constituted as part of National Geographic exhibition, which is run in several parts of Europe and America2. Tutankhamun exhibitions rest on the tendency of National Geographic Society to showcase to the public the most prominent figures that guided and ruled the old Egypt in the last 3000 years ago3.

The paramount theme of the exhibitions has put more focus and emphasis on the 18th Dynasty, which is calculated to be about 250-year period when Egypt was characterized by dynasty rule and the society was at the peak of artistry4.

Tutankhamun mania can be seen to have resulted due to interplay of several factors. First, staging of tutankhamun exhibition around the world is seen to have being transformed with regard to management and the focus is gradually shifting as an academic venture to more of commercial activity5.

Commercialization of tutankhamun exhibition has been accompanied by massive advertisement and promotion an aspect that has ignited among many people desire to learn, know and even marvel at these Egyptian heritage.

Another aspect that is leading to tutankhamun mania in many parts of Europe and America has to do with the content and enrichment of tutankhamun artifacts6. Just imagine bringing live the history of around 3000 years ago in a more subtle and captivating way. This is what tutankhamun exhibition is achieving. More people are just excited to read Egypt’s long-time unique cultural heritage that is depicted in the tutankhamun exhibition.

Many people have developed curiosity to know and even see numerous copies of all the famous pieces of Tutankhamun tomb and history7. Moreover, curiosity for knowledge and contextualize what has been for a long time expressed in movies and books, constitute a reason why tutankhamun exhibition is becoming a mania.

Generally, for majority of people around the world, tutankhamun heritage has for a long time been expressed and explained through books, films, and movies with less real life experience8.

In this way, it can be deduced that educational and informative ‘thirst’ for Egyptian cultural heritage persists in many people. As a result, tutankhamun exhibition tend to play the role of bringing about the ‘real’ picture about the tutankhamun history, which in turn is receiving massive acceptance.

Moreover, it can be deduced that tutankhamun mania has increased based on the argument that over-visiting monuments in Egypt is seen to pose damage to the monuments and as a result, visits in the country are regulated, that is to say, minimized9. To make it more difficult, authorities in Egypt have restricted access to the real Tomb of Tutankhamun and it is therefore unlikely for many visitors to see the heritage.

Therefore, the solution to satisfy this desire and curiosity has been directed to tutankhamun exhibitions hence drawing many people. Another factor has to do with cost and financial aspects that an individual would have to meet before accessing monuments in Egypt.

Given the large enthusiasm expressed by many people about the Egyptian cultural heritage, the government and monuments heritage management authorities have continuously increased fee fort the visiting tourists10. This may be at disadvantage of majority of people especially students and young people and therefore as a way of obeying the law of opportunity cost, they decide to fulfill their desire and curiosity in exhibitions.

Heritage tourism as oxymoron and the implications to Egypt

Tourism is perceived to have a long history, which at the same time has been fascinating11. At the same time, tourism has maintained links with history where as time has elapsed, history has evolved to become one of the essential components that make up tourism industry. In most parts of the world, commercialization of history together with culture has become critical and part process of developing tourism products for sale12.

At this point, it can be said that, today in many parts of the world there is apparent growing interest among tourists to manifest liking for historical, cultural, philosophical, and artistic aspects of other peoples’ cultures13. According to 19997 Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism, heritage tourism has been defined as “traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and peoples of the past”14.

As heritage tourism continue to grow, there is also growing concerns about the numerous impacts, constraints and management implications that this sector brings about in society15. For example, Dallen J.

Timothy observes that different societies are constructed differently and they manifest great differences in terms of politics, power, power and empowerment, conservation and preservation practices, social mores, cultural vitality, socio-economic disparity and legislative engagement16.

As heritage becomes a phenomenon that modern tourism is being build on, it is understood that three reasons exist that facilitate the concept of heritage: to protect the past; to create a unique identity; and to attract tourists17.

In this way, it can be evidenced that as more urbanization and economic developments take place in different countries, there is concern intertwined with conflict on how the idea of protection of the past can be achieved in order to avert more destruction.

Unfortunately, there has been twisting and manipulation that has characterized conservation process, which in turn has led to emergence of heritage designed largely to satisfy purposes that are different from conservation purposes18.

It should be remembered further that heritage in the modern world is gradually being commoditized as a commodity of the past for the present19.

Tourism in Egypt remains key aspect especially to the economy. Tourism contributes heavily to the GDP of the country and many opportunities have been created as a result of tourism20. Heritage tourism is what Egypt is best known for given its vast heritage resources such as Pharaonic sites, Graeco-Roman Egypt attractions, and Museums21.

Due to these factors of cultural heritage combined with other modern ones, tourism sector in Egypt has experienced growth at a faster rate. Nevertheless, heritage tourism has accompanied itself with numerous complications that further have affected Egypt as a society and its cultural heritages. Heritage tourism is seen to consume not only natural and human resources but also consume cultural resources22.

As this takes place in the Egyptian society and context, it has to be remembered that cultural resources are finite and as a result have to be managed like any other scarce resource. The country has to move away from the previous tendency where majority of archaeological heritage were maximized in terms of revenue through opening up of more sites to visitors.

This led to massive advertisement and promotion and the eventual results was to witness exerted pressure on the country’s cultural and heritage sites as more tourist became unmanageable. Informed by this past reluctance to establish effective check mechanisms, the government has realized the need to establish and implement sustainable tourism development strategies23.

In this way, it is anticipated that the government will be able to establish comprehensive tourist development plans; and tourist development plans should have both conservation and benefit aspects as part of the plan especially for heritage and cultural sites24.

Dilemmas of Egyptian government in satisfying local and international visitors interested in viewing heritage artifacts

Tourism in Egypt has grown as it was highlighted earlier to a level that it has become one of the economy engines of the country. As fact heritage tourism in Egypt, continue to unprecedented growth thus bringing many benefits to local communities, regional authorities, and national government.

Nevertheless, even as the tourism in the country continues to grow more challenges emerge and this forces the government to sometimes make hard choices. As it was seen earlier tourism planning and development in the past has been ill managed in Egypt, a situation that led to overexploitation of cultural artifacts and sites without proper management25.

Due to massive advertisement of heritage tourism, Egypt continue to experience influx of tourist and as the number grows, pressure exerted on these scarce resources is imminent leading to their destruction or misuse26. Thus, more challenges can be observed from Egypt’s increasing tourist activities.

Some of the challenges include emergence of uncontrolled, unsustainable, and mass tourism growth; detraction of local people’s lives and this may be evidenced in aspects such as intrusion in their daily lives, loss of privacy, and a sense of crowding which makes them view the overall tourism as un-developed27.

Exposure of local and cultural aspects to outsiders with little planning and management has exposed communities ‘secrets’ to outsiders, a situation that may cause discomfort among the people concerned28.

All the above aspects have combined to make provision of tourism services by the Egyptian government a great challenge that sometimes turns into dilemma. Solving this dilemma and ensuring both local and foreigners experience some sort of satisfaction in consumption of tourism products, the government has to fulfill some roles and activities.

Marketing and promotion of tourism both domestically and in foreign countries need to be well planned, and the idea should rest on promoting sustainable tourism29. In this way, as the government continue to advertise numerous cultural sites and heritage destinations to the outside world, concerted efforts should be directed at conservation of environment, social and cultural aspects.

With regard to tourist crowding and causing exerted pressure, the government should device appropriate check mechanisms that ensure positive and productive restrictions are complied with30. Moreover, it is upon the government to only ensure that sites that are ready are the once selected for tourism development and this should involve local and community participation.

Furthermore, the government agencies involved in tourism should be at forefront in ensuring that travelers (tourists) receive accurate information and the destinations they are supposed to visit31. In this way, it is necessary for all government agencies to refrain from activities that may result in lack of information, false impression, misinformation, poor communication, and poor knowledge32.

How spirituality and the arts are represented in Egypt

Numerous literatures in form of history have been developed on the influence of Egypt’s art on religion and spirituality33. Art in Egypt has greatly influenced and been influenced by religion and culture of the society which has characterize Egypt for a long time34.

Egypt as a country that has a rich history and culture than any other country is perceived as the cradle of civilization and for a long time the country remained a land of all-pervasive magic35. Art is associated with symbols and it is from these that Moshe Barasch (2000) observes that actual symbolism began in Egypt36.

It is in Egypt that there is an elaboration of the symbolic art form and thus Egypt has been referred to as the country of symbol37. In this way, the author observes that, “Egypt is a country which sets itself the spiritual task of the self-deciphering of the spirit, without actual attaining to the decipherment”38.

Manifestation of religion in Egyptian can be constructed from Hegel’s argument where the author stress that Egyptians while practicing their religion did not project divine dignity onto real natural objects, nor did they consider actual creatures as themselves gods39.

Thus among the Egyptian there was emphasis on congruence between the meaning invested in an object and the object itself40. Given this demand for congruence, it can be said that in real life situation, certain incongruence prevails between nature and spirit.

As Egypt was in the process of discovering itself, it was caught up in a conflict: that on one hand there was overall sense of contrast between nature and spirit and on the other hand, people developed wish to make the spiritual manifest in the natural and material41. In addition, according to the author this was the beginning of visual arts.

The understanding of Egyptians was that in order to develop and ensure manifestation of spiritual in material object, one was supposed to move beyond finding the object in nature. Therefore, there was the immediate need to make the material object transparent, in that inward, the spiritual could shine through and this forced individuals to invent such an object.

Symbols (objects) thus were used to represent spirit, divine, the infinite, and so on and this had to be made (invented). It is in this sense that in Egypt both religion and art are seen to be dominated by the spirit’s striving for self-understanding and by man’s endeavor to explain his own misery42.

To Egyptian the process of understanding one’s self was achieved through building and from this, the Egyptian became masters in erecting huge cities of the dead, they constructed pyramids and shaped the sphinxes43.

Defining and identifying authenticity of Tutankhamun: His Tomb and His Treasures exhibition

Since 1960s, the selected finds from Tutankhamun’s tomb have been on showcase in Europe and America countries44. The exhibitions that for a long time continue to be characterized by huge number of people have become popular due to representation of an almost real picture of Tutankhamun tomb artifacts.

As they become popular, it has been noted in the last forty years numerous changes having been taking place in the staging of Tutankhamun and this has been manifested by the selection of materials to include in the exhibition. The exhibitions are as a result of excavation works of Howard Carter and Carnarvon on Tutankhamun’s tomb45.

The exhibition is regarded big and the question of authenticity of the exhibition can be captured in many ways. First, Tutankhamun: His Tomb and His Treasures exhibition has become famous in showing the real replica of famous pieces like funerary shrines, all the three coffins, the sarcophagus, all the major furniture items, one fully-assembled chariot and hundreds of small items46.

As a result, attention that has been paid to details in this replica is astounding and enriching making the exhibitions authenticity achieved. This can be observed from the words of the author who postulates that, “I tried to test and went around the exhibition looking for misunderstood or misinterpreted inscriptions and was unable to find more than a handful of errors of little significance”47.

At the same time, the author constructs a picture of authenticity when he describes the overall organization and management of the exhibitions. For instance, it is observed that in the exhibitions, the tomb’s rooms are being shown, as they were found, with objects in situ, although there has been reduction in the scale of the objects.

Nevertheless, it has been identified that the exhibitions have largely performed the role real and actual museums with Tutankhamun artifacts in Egypt would have performed. This role is largely ingrained in the effort to inform visitors about Egypt’s geography, history, religion and other aspects of civilization48.

Another aspect that makes the exhibitions more authentic has to do with the place of designing and subsequent make, where in this case happened in Egypt. The author states that, “all the items were made in Egypt by Fine Art Cairo, first in plaster and then finished in synthetic resin”49.

Moreover, there has been inclusion of multiple researchers and specialists in the designing of the exhibitions, an aspect that has increased their authenticity.

What makes an authentic tourist and an authentic attitude to places?

Relph observes that something authentic is “genuine, unadulterated, without hypocrisy, and honest to itself, not just in terms of superficial characteristics, but at depth50. As such this concept has been attributed to places and to people and in most cases it has been used to denote culture where in most instances questions arise as to whether cultural manifestations can be regarded to be authentic or not51.

In an attempt to provide more insight on the concept, Relph went ahead to discuss the authentic attitude of place. This, according to the author, is “a direct and genuine experience of the entire complex of the identity of places-not mediated and distorted through a series of quite arbitrary social and intellectual fashions about how that experience should be, not following stereotypical convections”52.

Some purviews of literatures have denoted that the concept of authenticity is a consequence of modernization during which people become separated from ‘reality’ or dis-embedded from space and time53. Given this, tourists in modern world are seen to have quest for authenticity for the actual or real thing that is not part of their own every day life54.

According to Ian Yeoman, observes that as economy matures in most societies, there is emergence of authenticity since many consumers are looking for real experiences instead of ‘products’ which are manufactured55.

In this regard, it is becoming clear that there is growing desire among tourists to achieve experiences and products that have originality and are real, and are not contaminated by being un-original or impure56. Wilmott and Nelson (2003) observes that, understanding authenticity involves understanding peoples desire in life and as consumerism become the idea in modern world, authenticity is likely to become subject in tourism57.

Authenticity has been linked with to Maslow’s self-actualization concept, and today apart of having interest in tourism products, tourists are developing great interest in aspects such as environment, animal rights, poverty, and education58.

Interpretation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then it can be concluded that movement to self-actualization is largely aimed at searching for deeper meaning and finding sense of worth beyond goods and services and to experience.

Ian Yeoman, further notes that certain trends in the modern world that can be evidenced are likely to likely going to shape people’s desire for an authentic experience. This is going to be so especially given that modern tourists appear to be more educated, more sophisticated, have traveled widely and they are concerned about the environment while at the same are looking for a better quality life59.

As a result it can be seen that tourists in modern world are seeking and exhibit desire to have ‘real’ experiences rather than being subjected to something false. Authentic tourist developing an authentic attitude to places has been explained to be contributed by certain and specific factors that are becoming dominant in modern world.

Such factors include: global network; ethical consumption and volunteering; the affluent consumer and the desire for new experiences in faraway places; the educated consumer; the role of the media; individualism; time pressures and authenticity; busy lifestyles and getting away; and lastly, people’s affection for wildlife60.

Conclusion

In its essence, cultural heritage tourism encompasses the typical ability to rely on living and built elements of different cultures whereby there is both use of tangible and intangible past as critical tourism resource61. Therefore, it is likely that within the broad perspective of cultural heritage tourism, an individual is likely to find key heritage elements that in one way or the other remains distinguished.

Some of the heritage elements in this broad sense may include immaterial elements such as language, music, artistic tradition, museums, historic monuments, archeological ruins, and so on62. Thus, an attempt to understand heritage tourism is welcome and highly enriching.

Bibliography

Anonymous. “Tourism in Egypt”. Web.

Anonymous. Ancient Egypt. 2010. (Attached notes).

Backhaus, Norman. . Berlin: LIT Verlag Munster, 2005. Web.

Barasch, Moshe. . NY: Routledge, 2000. Web.

Burns, Peter M and Bibbings, Lyn. . MA: CABI, 2010. Web.

Erman, Adolf and Tirard, Michael. Life in Ancient Egypt. NY: Kessinger Publishing, 2003.

Hoffman, Barbara T. Art and cultural heritage: law, policy, and practice. London: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Inwood, Michael. A Hegel dictionary. MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992.

Kaplan, Leslie C. Art and Religion in Ancient Egypt. NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2004.

MacDonald, Sally. Consuming ancient Egypt. NY: Routledge, 2003.

Morgan, Michael, Lugosi, Peter and Richie, Brent. The Tourism and Leisure Experience: Consumer and Managerial Perspectives. NY: Channel View Publications, 2010.

National Geographic Society. Tutankhamun and the golden age of the Pharaohs. Australia: National Geographic Society, 2011. Web.

Page, Stephen and Connell, Joanne. . OH: Cengage Learning EMEA. Web.

Preucel, Robert W. and Mrozowski, Stephen A. Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism. MA: John Wiley and Sons.

Smith, Melanie K. . PA: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Web.

Stillman, William J. and Durand, John. The Crayon. W.J. Stillman & J. Durand Publishers, 1857.

Town of Gawler Handbook. Fact Sheet 5: Social and Cultural Impacts of Tourism. Web.

Timothy, Dallen J. Cultural heritage and tourism in the developing world: a regional perspective. PA: Taylor & Francis, 2009.

Wang, Shu-Yi and University of Colorado. Tradition, memory and the culture of place: Continuity and change in the ancient city of Pingyao, China. Mi: ProQuest LLC, 2008. Web.

Yeoman, Ian. Tomorrow’s Tourism: Scenarios and Trends. London: Elsevier Publishers, 2008. Web.

Footnotes

1 Dallen J. Timothy, Cultural heritage and tourism in the developing world: a regional perspective (PA: Taylor & Francis, 2009) p.3.

2 National Geography Society, “Tutankhamun and the golden age of the Pharaohs” (National Geographic Society, 2011) par.12.

3 National Geography Society, ibid.

4National Geography Society, ibid, par.13.

5 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt (2010) p.38.

6 Anonymous, ibid, p.40.

7 Anonymous, ibid, p.40.

8 Anonymous, ibid, p.41.

9 Anonymous, ibid, p.41

10 Anonymous, ibid, p.42

11 Stephen Page and Joanne Connell, Tourism: a modern synthesis (OH: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2006) p.39.

12 Stephen Page and Joanne Connell, ibid.

13 Richard Rhone and Korey Neil, Heritage Tourism in Black River, Jamaica: A Case Study (Munro College, n.d).

14 Richard Rhone and Korey Neil, ibid.

15 Barbara T. Hoffman, Art and cultural heritage: law, policy, and practice (London: Cambridge University Press, 2006) p.226.

16 Dallen J. Timothy, Cultural heritage and tourism in the developing world: a regional perspective, (PA: Taylor & Francis, 2009), p.3.

17 Shu-Yi Wang and University of Colorado, Tradition, memory and the culture of place: Continuity and change in the ancient city of Pingyao, China, (MI: ProQuest LLC, 2008), p.28.

18 Shu-Yi Wang and University of Colorado, ibid.

19 Shu-Yi Wang and University of Colorado, ibid.

20 Anonymous, Tourism in Egypt (n.d) p.71.

21 Anonymous, ibid, p.72.

22 Anonymous, ibid, p.72.

23 Anonymous, ibid, p.75.

24 Anonymous, ibid.

25 Town of Gawler Handbook, Fact Sheet 5: Social and Cultural Impacts of Tourism (n.d) p.2.

26 Robert W. Preucel and Stephen A. Mrozowski, Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism (MA: John Wiley and Sons, 2010) p.513.

27 Town of Gawler Handbook, ibid.

28 Town of Gawler Handbook, ibid.

29 Town of Gawler Handbook, ibid, p.3

30 Melanie K. Smith, Issues in Cultural Tourism Studies (PA: Taylor & Francis, 2009) p.111.

31 Town of Gawler Handbook, ibid, p.3.

32 Town of Gawler Handbook, ibid.

33 William James Stillman and John Durand, The Cryon (W.J. Stillman & J. Durand Publishers, 1857) p.257.

34 Leslie C. Kaplan, Art and Religion in Ancient Egypt (NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2004) p.5.

35 William James Stillman and John Durand, ibid.

36 Moshe Barasch, Theories of Art: From Winckelmann to Baudelaire (NY: Routledge, 2000) p.185

37 Moshe Barasch, ibid.

38 Moshe Barasch, ibid.

39 Michael Inwood, A Hegel dictionary (MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992) p.42.

40 Adolf Erman and Michael Tirard, Life in Ancient Egypt (Kessinger Publishing, 2003) p.201.

41 Moshe Barasch, ibid.

42 Moshe Barasch, ibid, p.186

43 Moshe Barasch, ibid.

44 Sally MacDonald, Consuming ancient Egypt (NY: Routledge, 2003), p.93.

45 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt, p.40.

46 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt, ibid.

47 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt, ibid.

48 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt, ibid, p.41.

49 Anonymous, Ancient Egypt, ibid.

50 Norman Backhaus, Tourism and nature conservation in Malaysian National Parks (Germany: Lit Verlag Munster, 2005) p.43.

51 Peter M. Burns, Jo-Anne Lester and Lyn Bibbings, Tourism and visual culture: methods and cases (CABI, 2010) p.17.

52 Norman Backhaus, ibid.

53 Norman Backhaus, ibid.

54 Michael Morgan, Peter Lugosi and J. R. Brent Ritchie, The Tourism and Leisure Experience: Consumer and Managerial Perspectives (NY: Channel View Publications, 2010) p.15.

55 Ian Yeoman, Tomorrow’s tourist: scenarios and trends (London: Elsevier Publishers, 2008) p.168.

56 Ian Yeoman, ibid.

57 Ian Yeoman, ibid.

58 Ian Yeoman, ibid.

59 Ian Yeoman, ibid, p.169.

60 Ian Yeoman, ibid, p.170.

61 Dallen J. Timothy, ibid.

62 Dallen J. Timothy, ibid.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Marketing: Tourism in Egypt." July 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marketing-assessment-tourism-in-egypt-assessment/.

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