Last week advertising agency DDB picked up the £28m Egyptian tourist board account which, given July's bombings in Sharm el Sheikh and previous terrorist atrocities, make it one of the most tricky of its type. To some, it may also sound a little cynical.

The reality is that, with 9m visitors a year, tourism is a vital part of the Egyptian economy and heartless as it sounds, the Egyptian government needs to get tourist traffic moving again as fast as it can.

But does the advertising acknowledge the looming fear every potential tourist to Egypt has? It's unlikely. The ads can hardly say "we've had these terrible bombs but, hey, don't worry, we've tightened up security and, it may be inconvenient, but at least you'll be safe".

Chances are it'll contain one or more of the usual staples of tourist board advertising, which generally fall into three categories: one, amazing land of contrasts; two, surprise yourself by finding out there's so much more to Country X than you think; and three, the natives are very friendly.

Of course, Egypt is not alone in having to deal with these kinds of issues, as London and UK tourist officials well know. Visit London, for example, is currently running a heavyweight campaign designed to attract European and US visitors back to the capital. If you'd been away and not seen any news for three months, would you know that London had been bombed twice? Of course not.

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