An Australian couple who visited Egypt on an Intrepid trip have become overnight celebrities after a video they made of their holiday went viral. Egyptians are hoping the fun film will inspire travellers to return following a tumultuous few years for the tourism industry.
Zoe Russell and Brad Moore’s video shows them enjoying a series of iconic Egyptian monuments, including the pyramids of Giza, a felucca river tour, snorkelling in the Red Sea and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
The couple lip sync to The Bangles’ 1986 pop smash hit ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ throughout. They were inspired by a lip sync video posted by Frozen actress Kristen Bell and her husband of Toto’s ‘Africa’ after their holiday to… Africa.
Spurred on by the nagging of their friends, Zoe and Brad finally got around to posting their own video about six months after they visited the country in September 2016. It took just a few days for it to get picked up by Australian media and the video has now been viewed nearly half-a-million times on Facebook. Watch it below.
In an interview on Channel 7’s Sunrise breakfast news show, Zoe and Brad said they were alerted to the fact they had become viral sensations after their Intrepid Travel leader Ahmed Helmy messaged them on Facebook, saying: “Guys you really need to check out this video because you’ve made me famous.”
The video could give a boost to the Egyptian tourism industry. Despite being named by Bloomberg as a top 20 destination for 2017, it has suffered from years of unrest.
“Egyptians living in Egypt and abroad have contacted us on social media saying ‘thank you so much for doing this for our country’,” said Zoe.
Ahmed himself remembers the couple fondly. “I’m so happy that I saw the joy of my passengers through this video,” he told us.
“Zoe and Brad got engaged on that tour, and as an Intrepid Travel leader for about 13 years, it was the first time I saw a girl proposing to a guy. I really felt fearful about having that proposal on my trip, so I invited them for a couple glasses of wine!”
Sameh Tawfik, Intrepid’s local manager in Egypt, observed that any boost for tourism would be good for locals and Egypt’s rich archaeological heritage.
“Fortunately tourism has started to bounce back and hopefully it will continue to do so,” he said.
“The positive impact of having tourism bouncing back would generate funds for excavation and restoration for ancient sites.”