During a recent visit to Egypt, Secretary-General, UNWTO, Taleb Rifai expressed confidence in the recovery of the country’s tourism industry.
Rifai met with Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou.
The President emphasised his full support of the tourism sector and its utmost determination in ensuring that Egypt is a safe, attractive and leading tourism destination. He declared: “If tourism recovers, Egypt will recover.”
Rifai additionally met with Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail Mohamed and discussed measures to accelerate the recovery of Egypt’s tourism sector while praising the support being given to the sector. “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 Rifai.
During his visit, 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 UNWTO City Tourism Summit taking place in Egypt later on in the year.
Opening Egypt´s Tourism 2016 Conference ‘Planning for Growth’, Rifai highlighted that there is a strong pent up demand for tourism to Egypt, from source markets both within and outside the region.
He declared: “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.”
Rifai called upon the international community to support Egypt’s tourism. “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,” he concluded.