CAIRO, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Egypt has launched a campaign to promote the North African country as a tourist destination with the start of the soccer World Cup in Russia that kicked off on Thursday, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism said in a statement on Friday.
The slogan, "Experience Egypt," was displayed on stadium billboards during the Pharaohs' World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday in addition to Thursday's match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, the statement said.
Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat said the campaign, dubbed "Egypt - Experience & Invest," that will be prompted in the World Cup's 64 matches, will help lure tourists to Egypt.
She added the campaign also seeks to support and encourage the Egyptian team.
In Egypt, the number of tourists declined from 14.7 million in 2010 to about 8 million in 2017 due to political instability and relevant security challenges, including two mass uprisings that toppled two presidents, forcing several countries to ban their citizens from traveling to Egypt for safety reasons.
Tourism in Egypt was dealt a heavy blow following the Russian airplane crash in North Sinai in October 2015, after Russia suspended its direct flights to the country and some other nations including Britain suspended flights to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh.
However, Egyptian officials expect a boom in the business after Russia and Egypt resumed direct flights between the two countries in April.