Egypt hopes to win back millions of tourists

Published on : Sunday, May 8, 2016

EgyptDespite the plummeting tourism revenues and growing security concerns in Egypt, the country is optimistic that it can restore public confidence and win back millions of tourists.

 
“Egypt has a third of the world’s ancient riches and probably another two-thirds not yet discovered. We need to get the positive vibe out there,” Mohamed Yehia Rashed, Egypt’s new Tourism Minister said, in an interview to Arabian Business during his recent visit to Dubai.

 
He adds that, right now, “we are very transparent and there is nothing we cannot answer” to address people’s fears, questions and concerns.

 
Claiming to know the secret to attracting more visitors to Egypt, Rashed said, “It’s about creating a home from home.

 
“You need to make it really easy for people to enjoy themselves – travel is a choice and an experience and anyone working in the industry needs to make sure they help to serve that purpose.”

 
Egypt has placed a six-point plan in place aiming to attract 12 million visitors by the end of 2017. The plan includes cooperating with international tourism partners to promote the country; working with EgyptAir, the national carrier, to develop and serve new destinations, attracting inward investment to enhance Egypt’s tourism infrastructure, and developing a growing trend in Egypt of eco-friendly travel.

 
Attracting visitors from elsewhere across the Arab world is a key plank of the strategy, Rasheed says, explaining that there is a “sense of solidarity” between Egypt and the rest of the Middle East.

 
Rashed insists Egypt is targeting higher volumes of tourists from the West, as well. “Our target audience is everybody,” he says. “We want 10 times as many visitors from everywhere – I don’t want to name a particular country that we are targeting.”

 
Travel and tourism accounted for 11.4 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015.

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