We’re headed again to Egypt, this time to experience a taste of what it can offer in the way of adventure and adrenaline travel.
We will also present at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Travel and Media conference. There, we will tie a real-time case study of this Egypt experience together with some of our prior travel experience to demonstrate the value to destinations of digital storytelling and engaging travel bloggers during challenging news cycles.
During our last visit to Egypt in December 2011, outside of another conference where we presented, our focus was Alexandria, Cairo and the pyramids nearby.
For this, our return trip, we’ll head in the direction of the Red Sea to experience something a little different. Here’s just a sample:
- A hike through Wadi Al-Hitan (Valley of the Whales), a UNESCO site outside of Cairo, where we’ll be able to see ancient shark and whale fossils amidst the modern-day desert. Sites like these indicate the sweeping geological changes our world has gone through over time. Climate change has a long history, regardless of the cause.
- Adventure sporting at the Red Sea city of Hurghada. In addition to kite surfing and parasailing, we hope to get a little down and dirty with a quad bike safari. To allow our adrenaline to settle, some much-needed spa time – yes, that incudes Dan, too — will follow.
- A visit to Marsa Alam, a town that sits on the edge of the Arabian Desert and the Red Sea. We’ll enjoy a Red Sea diving outing just before the conference portion of our trip begins.
We will also enjoy these adventures with our colleague and friend, Erica Hargreave of Roamancing and Ahimsa Media. During our last visit to Cairo, we rode camels together, struggled equally to make Egyptian flatbread, and helped fend off Erica’s Egyptian admirers. Like us, Erica embraces the unexpected and is up for spontaneity along the way.
UNTWO Travel and Media Conference: A Real-Time Digital Storytelling Case Study
In case you are wondering how we’re going to tie our Egyptian adventures into a UNWTO conference presentation, there is a method to the madness.
The most relevant background: an article we published earlier this year which encapsulates our thoughts regarding the perception of travel safety in some select current event flashpoints that we have visited in the last year. The piece is entitled How Travel Beats the Media Fear Machine.
Within the last 14 months, we have visited Iran and have also cooperated with tourism boards in Jordan, Greece, Mexico, and now Egypt. At times, each has faced tourism industry challenges due to travel safety and security concerns related to current events and the resulting media coverage and prevailing public perception that followed.
So when we heard that this year’s UNWTO’s 2nd Travel and Media Conference would focus on the theme of “Partnering with Media during Challenging Times” it struck us as a great fit for the way we view the world, travel through it, engage with it, and report on our experiences in it.
Together with Erica, we will share all of this in a discussion entitled Real Time Digital Storytelling for Destinations During Challenging News Cycles on the first day of the UNWTO Travel and Media conference (April 26, 2012).
We also hope you will engage in this digital Egyptian adventure to help demonstrate the power digital storytelling and delivering messages based on personal experience.
If you are curious about Egypt, or you have memories and content from a previous trip to Egypt that you’d like to share or highlight, we invite you to:
- Follow the hashtag #WeVisitEgypt on your social media networks. We will continually update Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@uncornered_market) throughout the journey. Please retweet or share what you find engaging and fun.
- Ask us questions and interact with us through our social media networks. You can find us on @UMarket and you can find Erica at @Roamancing.
- If you’ve been to Egypt, or you’re there now, please share your own photos, video and blog posts from Egypt using the #WeVisitEgypt hashtag. Not only will we do our best to retweet and highlight your content, but the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) may also do the same.
However you decide to take part, we thank you for being part of our #WeVisitEgypt adventure!