UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, expressed
the organization’s full confidence in the recovery of tourism in
Egypt during a recent visit to the country.
On the occasion, Mr. Rifai met with Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in the
presence of the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou.
President reiterated his full support to the tourism sector and
its utmost determination in ensuring that Egypt is a safe,
attractive and leading tourism destination saying, “if tourism
recovers, Egypt will recover”.
Meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail
Mohamed, Mr. Rifai discussed measures to accelerate the
recovery of tourism to Egypt and praised the support being given
to the sector. Both representatives welcomed the actions
undertaken by Egypt to promote the highest political support for
the sector, regain the confidence of source markets, enhance
tourism safety and security and successfully integrate the sector
into risk and emergency management structures, both at national
and local levels.
“Egypt has undertaken strong initiatives in
terms of communications with the competent authorities and public
opinion in source markets on safety and security issues, unlocking
the support of airlines and tour operators, incentivising demand
and engaging key players in Egypt in these concerted efforts. I
trust these actions will herald results in restoring confidence
and accelerating the recovery of tourism to Egypt,” said Mr. Rifai.
Mr Rifai also met with the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, to discuss the cooperation between
the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs and UNWTO, including
Egypt’s chairmanship of the UNWTO Executive Council and the
forthcoming UNWTO City Tourism Summit taking place in Egypt later
Future of Tourism in
Opening Egypt´s Tourism 2016 Conference
‘Planning for Growth’, Mr Rifai said that there is a strong
pent up demand for tourism to Egypt, from source markets, both
within and outside the region.
“We should never forget that Egypt is one of the
world’s most remarkable tourism success stories. Over the last
decade, the number of visitors to Egypt practically tripled and so
did the exports generated by international tourism. Egypt is, and
will continue to be, despite all challenges, a leading tourism
destination,” he said.
Tourism is a critical contributor to Egypt’s
GDP, employment, foreign currency earnings and investment. Mr.
Rifai called upon the international community to support Egypt’s
tourism saying that “supporting the recovery of tourism to Egypt
is supporting the future of Egypt and that of its people;
supporting tourism to Egypt is promoting peace and stability”.
For January 2016, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, reported double-digit
decreases across the three key performance indicators: occupancy
(-54.7% to 24.8%), ADR (-18.9% to EGP406.16) and RevPAR (-63.3% to
EGP100.92). Hoteliers cut prices in the market, but the decline in
occupancy was too great to overcome.
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