Sudan is a holiday destination again
Score points with study and diving tour operators with unique products
In the 1980s, Sudan disappeared from the tourist map for almost 30 years due to a long series of conflicts. The country was cut off from the international payment systems and a variety of sanctions led to the number of international visitors falling to a minimum. The Sudanese coastal province - the Red Sea State - was never involved in the internal conflicts and always accommodated several hundred divers during the winter season. neusta Grafenstein was assigned in March 2017 to represent the Red Sea State in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to develop diving tourism, but also to establish Port Sudan as a starting point for study trips and adventure tourism.
The challenges were great:
- Sudan's tourism offers are "invisible" in the German-speaking markets. There were no travel guides, websites, or other information material in German.
- The number of German tour operators offering Sudan has been very small and none of them had the Red Sea State in their program. Even the dive tour operators only concentrate on live-boards, although there is a tourist infrastructure in and around Port Sudan that is also suitable for international guests.
- The communication was focused on two topics: The Red Sea State is a must-see destination for every experienced diver and Sudan is a must-see destination for all culturally interested travelers. This topic is currently reinforced by a multitude of international, archaeological excavations, which suggest that one of the first advanced civilizations of mankind originated on the territory of today's Sudan - 5000 years before Egypt!
At the ITB 2017 and the Interdive 2017 in Friedrichshafen, it became clear that there is great interest in both topics. Through familiarization tours for tour operators and press trips in 2017 and 2018, we were able to convince a large number of leading media and specialist tour operators to present the Red Sea State and Sudan. The result was an increase in arrivals from Germany. For 2017 there was a 39% increase to over 3,000 visitors and for 2018 to 3,600 visitors.