Egyptian Ministry of Tourism signed a cooperation protocol with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to provide technical and political support to the sector, according to Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou.
The ministry requested UNWTO provide the Egyptian government with experts on crises management. “The organisation has approved our request and experts are currently writing their reports on Egyptian tourism,” Zaazou said.
The support will not be limited to the current stage but will rather extend to penning an entire development plan for the sector.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with international tourism experts Tuesday, according to Zaazou. During the meeting, the president and experts agreed on an initial strategy that relies on four aspects; security, historical tourism, establishment of a new ministerial committee, and promoting the advantages of the Egyptian tourist destination around the world.
Egypt will pledge to provide security to visitors of tourist resorts and commit to providing maximum safety at international standards. Zaazou said $32m will be used to attain the latest security systems and protocols.
The Egyptian government has contracted with Control Risks Company to evaluate and review procedures of securing Egyptian airports. The company began its work in early February with Sharm El-Sheikh Airport and then Marsa Alam Airport.
The second aspect related to historical tourism will make use of the treasure and monuments Egypt has, which will be used to attract more tourism. The government also plans to establish a ministerial committee headed by Zaazou to put a strategy to develop the sector with help of international experts.
Penn, Schoen, and Berland Associates, US conducted a study in January on Egyptian tourism destinations in seven international markets, which revealed that 61% of tourists considered Egypt as a main spot they plan to visit. Egyptian tourism revenue fell last year to $6.1bn from $7.3bn during the previous year.
Secretary General of UNWTO Taleb D. Rifai said the organisation will not only provide Egyptian tourism with technical support but will also provide political support by making touristic experiences from other tourism countries available to Egypt. “Despite the crises in the Middle East, tourists are expected to continue visiting the region,” Rifai said. “The flow might drop in one country but will be offset by an increase in another.”
Some 1.2 billion people moved worldwide for tourism purposes in 2015, of which 5.5-6% visited the Middle East. This ratio is expected to amount to 125m people by 2030, according to Rifai who expects the number of tourists to increase by 3% globally by the end of 2016.
UNWTO will draw a study on the Chinese market to support the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism since the market has been growing in recent years. The number of tourists arrivals to Egypt from China increased to 215,000 people in 2015 versus 115,000 in 2014.