<![CDATA[rss-Travel]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Travel]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Factbox: Airbus and Boeing aircraft deals at Paris Airshow]]>
AIRBUS
* Indigo Partners, the private equity firm of veteran low-cost airline investor Bill Franke, agrees to buy 32 A321XLRs worth an estimated $4.5 billion, and convert 18 more A320 family orders to the new aircraft.

* Accipiter Holdings purchases 20 A320neos worth $2.2 billion at list prices. The order was completed in March 2019 and had been listed in Airbus’s order books as undisclosed.

* Taiwan’s China Airlines signs preliminary deal to buy 11 A321neos, worth about $1.4 billion at list prices, while leasing another 14.

* Air Lease Corp signs letter of intent for 50 A220-300s, 27 A321XLRs and 23 A321neos worth an estimated $11 billion at list prices.

* Virgin Atlantic orders 14 A330neos worth $4.1 billion at list prices, and takes out an option for six more.

* Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines orders four A321XLRs, estimated to be worth more than $500 million at list prices.

* Philippines budget airline Cebu Air orders 16 A330neos, 10 A321XLRs and five A320neos, worth about $6 billion in total at list prices.

* Saudi Arabian Airlines orders a further A320neo family aircraft worth an estimated $3.3 billion at list prices, and takes out options for as many as 35 more.

* Malaysia’s AirAsia Group converts 253 A320neo orders to the larger A321neo. Financial terms not disclosed.

* IAG orders eight A321XLR for its Iberia brand and six for Aer Lingus, plus 14 options. The orders are worth an estimated $1.8 billion.

* Qantas Airways orders 10 A321XLR worth an estimated $1.3 billion at list prices and will convert 26 planes from a prior order to the new model.

BOEING
* ASL orders 10 737-800 converted freighters, worth about $1.1 billion at list prices, and agrees purchase rights for 10 more.

* Qatar Airways orders five 777F freighters, worth about $1.7 billion at list prices.

* Turkmenistan Airlines says intends to order one 777-200LR worth $346.9 million at list prices.

* Taiwan’s China Airlines provisionally orders up to six 777 freighters, worth about $2.1 billion at list prices.

* IAG signs letter of intent for 200 737 planes, comprising a mix of 737-8 and 737-10, worth more than $24 billion at list prices.

* Korean Air commits to buying 20 787 Dreamliners worth $6.3 billion at list prices.]]>
6/19/2019 2:40:52 PM
<![CDATA[AirAsia to make announcement about A321XLR at Paris Airshow on Tuesday: source]]>
Reuters last month reported the Malaysian low-cost carrier was in negotiations to buy the new longer-range version of the A321 passenger jet, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Airbus launched the A321XLR, which has a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles, at the Paris Airshow on Monday.

AirAsia’s long-haul arm AirAsia X last year placed an order for 34 A330neo widebodies which it has yet to firm up. Some of those could be switched to long-range narrowbodies, the head of AirAsia X’s Malaysia arm said in November.]]>
6/18/2019 12:55:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ready to receive African Championship 2019 fans: official]]>
Egyptian tourism companies provided distinctive programs for the African fans that combine different types of tourism, including classical tourism in Cairo and beach tourism in Red Sea resorts or Alexandria.

Chairman of Tourism Activities Committee of the Organizing Committee of the African Nations Championship Kamel Abo Ali said that the committee launched an awareness campaign on the Social Media for the 2019 African Cup of Nations that aims to spread positive attitude among Egyptians.

The campaign begins with welcoming tourists from the moment they arrive at Egyptian airports by positive behaviors such as cleanliness and commitment to draw a positive mental image.

Abo Ali pointed out that the tourism committee is not only interested in tourist places, but seeks to change the culture of guests' reception, where every Egyptian becomes a tour guide, stressing that the championship is a golden opportunity to attract all kinds of tourism.

For his side, Head of the Federation of Tourist Chambers Elhamyel-Zayat attaches great significance to indirect publicity to Egypt during the tournament, pointing out that the championship is an important sports event that the world will follow and will give an opportunity to highlight Egyptian touristic treasures.

Zayat added that African tourists will be mainly interested in shopping, because Egypt has a large shopping potential that is not available in many African countries.
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6/18/2019 12:13:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Georgia discuss boosting cooperation in air transport]]>
The meeting discussed the increase in air traffic, the operation of direct flights between Tbilisi and Cairo through the Administrative Capital airport, the Sphinx Airport.This is in addition to activating the tourist movement coming from Georgia to the Egyptian touristic cities.

During the meeting, the ministry praised joint coordination between the two countries in the field of air transport, stressing that the increase in the volume of investments and trade will contribute significantly to achieving the economic advancement of the two countries,thus enhancing opportunity for growth of air traffic between the two sides.

Ambassador Nalbandov expressed his happiness with this meeting, praising the vision and strategy adopted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and its companies to develop the air transport system in Egypt.

Irkiru operates regular weekly flights between Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh and Tbilisi, capital of Georgia.
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6/17/2019 12:50:29 PM
<![CDATA[PM: Archaeological sites renovation contributes to boosting tourism]]>
The premier made the remarks while taking a tour of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat district and Ayn as Sirah Lake to follow up the underway renovation activities there.

Flanked by a delegation of ministers concerned, Madbouli was briefed on the progress of restoration of the lake which is being carried out by the Egyptian Dredging Company that seeks expanding the waterway of the lake and establishing restaurants on its banks.

Mdbouli, meanwhile, ordered outlining an intensified plan of action meant to finalize the renovation activities within the coming few months.

According to Nader Saad, the spokesman for the cabinet, the plan of upgrading Fustat area involves the restoration of Fustat road before the civilization museum and making new extensions to it. ]]>
6/16/2019 3:27:07 PM
<![CDATA[Boeing seeking to reduce scope, duration of some physical tests for new aircraft: Reuters]]>
But the strategy could be at risk if regulators and U.S. lawmakers probing two deadly Boeing plane crashes require even more rigorous safety tests before certifying new aircraft as passenger-worthy.

As Boeing kicks off the year-long flight testing process on its new 777X, its engineers will cut hours off airborne testing by using computer models to simulate flight conditions, and then present the results to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of the basis for certification, according to two people with direct knowledge of the strategy.

Reuters could not determine when Boeing decided to move forward with the plan to cut back on physical tests or the extent to which it planned to reduce them for the 777X.

For Boeing’s proposed twin-aisle jetliner, known internally as NMA, Boeing’s Test & Evaluation group is developing the technology to replace costly and labor intensive physical safety tests used for decades - such as using machines to bend the wings to extreme angles and shaking the fuselage until it cracks - with computer modeling, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, including an FAA official.

Such work for the NMA is in the conceptual phase, though Boeing’s goal is to expand “certification by analysis” as “extensively as they possibly can” to slash development costs, one of the people told Reuters. Doing so enhances a finely balanced business case for launching NMA, which would be the first aircraft fully developed in the digital age.

Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman declined to comment on the company’s testing strategy for the 777X or the NMA, but said the planemaker was “looking holistically at our design and certification processes” following the 737 MAX crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, which together killed 346 people.

“This includes participating in ongoing independent government reviews and establishing a new board committee to review our end-to-end design and certification processes,” Bergman said.

When asked whether the FAA would allow Boeing to eliminate an array of physical tests for NMA and 777X, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the agency “makes determinations on a case-by-case basis, relying on data and decades of experience in certifying aircraft.”

Current regulations allow plane makers to use physical testing and analysis to demonstrate compliance.

Like the MAX, the NMA and 777X - which Boeing is racing to deliver in 2020 - are centerpieces in Boeing’s duel with Airbus SE and will influence how Boeing decides to manufacture and certify an eventual 737 MAX replacement. How quickly and at what cost the new planes are delivered to customers is critical to not just Boeing’s bottom line, but also the U.S. Congressional budget.

In February 2018, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg touted the company’s “streamlining certifications” effort at an industry conference, saying it was “an item we want to keep on the leading edge.”

While Boeing declined to elaborate on what Muilenburg meant by “streamlining,” people familiar with the matter said it includes lobbying for more limited direct FAA oversight and expanding the use of digital analysis over costlier physical testing to show regulatory compliance.

Like Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturing heavyweights are working to seize technological leaps in computerized engineering methods and tools that bridge the real and virtual world, and improve factory floor efficiency. Airbus declined to comment.

Five people familiar with the matter said Boeing believes that new technology and decades of testing experience have rendered some physical tests redundant for demonstrating safety.

For example, when vibrating a fuselage on an enormous platform to expose weaknesses - known as fatigue testing - the vast majority of the time the tool itself breaks instead of the airframe, according to a person with knowledge of past tests. Such work is costly and has reliably confirmed engineers’ expectations, he added.

HURDLES
The strategy to streamline plane certifications faces hurdles in the coming months as the FAA and other global regulators investigate whether Boeing’s processes are flawed after the MAX crashes, and as the Chicago-based planemaker seeks to reassure the flying public that its jetliners are safe.

Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the probes may trigger push-back against digital certification, even if there is no evidence it is unsafe.

“A headlong rush right now might not be best from an optics standpoint,” Aboulafia said.

The FAA declined to speculate on potential post-probe certification changes, but said it will “consider any and all recommendations that might help improve the process.”

Boeing’s internal review has uncovered nothing that caused it to shift its certification approach, Muilenburg and Boeing CFO Greg Smith told journalists in recent weeks.

Under current regulations, Boeing employees act as the FAA’s eyes and ears and complete much of the detailed certification work.

For example, as Boeing works to certify the 777X, engineers were catching glitches using a scaled-down cockpit mockup known internally as ‘airplane zero’ in a Seattle-area lab as recently as February. But an FAA official with knowledge of the matter said that Boeing has not issued reports directly to external FAA officials as of early this month.

That contrasts with Boeing’s original 777 development in the 1990s, when the FAA required Boeing to build a cockpit replica to conduct tests designed to weed out safety risks lurking in the 777 designs, and granular results were reported directly to the FAA for months, the official said.

Despite advances in computing power, some experts argue old-school physical tests are categorically better because they can produce unpredictable results, said one industry certification expert.

“Test has changed for the company from being a place of discovery to being mostly to validate what we thought we knew,” said Rick Ludtke, a former Boeing 737 MAX engineer.]]>
6/16/2019 2:20:58 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months]]>
Navy Captain Tony Rossi, program manager for the P-8 and its predecessor, the P-3, said the Navy was hoping to finalize the order book for the program soon to be able to “effectively and efficiently close out the production.”

He said the program could see about 21 additional orders from the U.S. Navy on top of 117 aircraft already funded, plus roughly the same number from other countries, although he declined to name potential new buyers.

The P-8, based on Boeing’s 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons.

It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.

Rossi said he was urging potential buyers to place their orders soon.

“The message is clear. The time is now to make sure that production continues to get those orders filled,” he said. “I’m upbeat. I think there’ll likely be additional U.S. orders and additional FMS (foreign military sales) quantities in the next six to nine months.”

Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for the Virginia-based Teal Group, said other potential buyers included Singapore and Canada. The transatlantic NATO alliance was also considering ordering the aircraft, according to sources familiar with the program.

“The market is somewhat thinner than expected, but they’ll get more orders. The production line will probably wind up running into the late 2020s,” Aboulafia said.

Boeing builds about 1.5 P-8 aircraft a month, but could slow production to extend the line, which is now slated to end in mid- to late-2023, and allow additional international customers to join the program, Rossi said.

He said demand for broad-area maritime patrol was rising given sharp increases in Russian submarine activity, and the capabilities of those vessels.

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6/16/2019 12:11:46 PM
<![CDATA[Charter flights from Azerbaijan to Egypt to resume in July]]>
The announcement is made during a visit by Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat to the Azerbaijani capital to attend the 110th Session of the World Tourism Organization’s Executive Council. Egypt is a member of the Executive Council comprising 35 member states. The current chair is Zambia, and the deputies are Argentina and Thailand. The council convenes twice a year.

The first direct flight between Cairo and Belgrade operated by Air Serbia will take place this month. Air Arabia Egypt will launch a direct flight from Sharm El Sheikh to Italy’s Naples starting July 15, 2019.

The flight will operate once a week on Mondays, departing from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport at 12:45 p.m. (local time) and arriving at Naples International Airport at 4:30 p.m. The return flights will depart from Naples International Airport at 5:20 p.m. and will arrive in Sharm El Sheikh International Airport at 8:50 p.m.

Parliament to discuss no-entry visa agreement between Egypt, Azerbaijan

CAIRO - 13 May 2019: Egypt's House of Representatives is set to discuss Monday a parliamentary report on exempting diplomatic or special passport holders from entry visa requirements between Egypt and Azerbaijan. The report was drafted by the foreign affairs and national security committees at the Parliament upon an agreement signed by both Egypt and Azerbaijan in Baku in May 24, 2010.



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6/15/2019 5:16:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt sees surging number of Chinese tourists: Cultural counselor ]]>
“Nearly half a million Chinese tourists visited Egypt in 2018 compared with only 300,000 in 2017, which is a big leap,” says Shi, who expects the number of Chinese visitors to exceed 500,000 in 2019.

According to Shi, Egypt’s continuing efforts to enhance stability and eliminate terrorism especially at heritage sites will encourage more Chinese to visit the country.

He also added in an article published by China Daily that there are also plans to overhaul services in hotels to offer tourists more competitive prices.

One of the world’s most ancient civilizations, Egypt has been working hard to uncover and preserve its archeological heritage across the country while organizing conferences abroad to promote its ancient heritage.

It is also striving to revive its ailing tourism sector which has been suffering an acute recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and security issues.

Describing Egypt as a “very important tourism country,” Shi encouraged the Egyptian government to provide more support for the tourism sector.

“Chinese tourists adore Egyptian monuments, and Egyptian archeological sites are well-known to the Chinese who have a similarly ancient civilization,” Shi adds.
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6/14/2019 11:15:43 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt has the cheapest taxi fare]]>
“The country with the cheapest taxi fare is Egypt – a cost of just 0.84 euro, for a 5km taxi fare. In fact, the base fee for a taxi fare in Egypt is as low as 0.24 euro,” Travel Daily added.

“Egypt is followed closely by India (1.29 euros), Thailand (1.41 euros) and Indonesia (1.68 euros) in Southeast Asia.”

Meanwhile, in Malaysia (€1.70) and Mexico (1.80 euros) you can grab a 5km cab ride for under 2 euros.

To achieve the figures, Taxi2Airport analysed data* collated by Taxi-Calculator.com. The average taxi fare presented is relative to a 5km (3.1 miles) journey.

Taxi2Airport chose to focus on 5km because, faced with a journey of this length, hailing a cab is often a necessity – especially if you have luggage or kids to hand.
]]>
6/13/2019 3:18:43 PM
<![CDATA[Saudia airline close to placing order for Airbus aircraft: sources]]>
The carrier, known as Saudia, has been negotiating with both Airbus and Boeing for wide-body jets for months and its chief executive told Air Transport World in March that a decision for planes like the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 was expected soon.

The order for wide-body aircraft, which could also include a number of smaller A320-family narrow-body aircraft, may be announced at the Paris Airshow, the people said.

Airbus declined comment.

Saudia Arabian Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Airbus and Boeing are battling for wide-body aircraft orders worth well over $10 billion as the clock ticks toward next week’s Paris Airshow, industry sources said on Tuesday.]]>
6/12/2019 2:49:56 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish ambassador attends ceremony to receive Spanish ship Furor]]>
Alexandria has been picked up to be the first international station for the Spanish ship to conduct naval drills with the Egyptian naval forces.

Attending the ceremony also were senior officials of the academy.]]>
6/11/2019 4:25:21 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to receive third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet]]>
Chairman and CEO of EGYPTAIR Airlines Ashraf el-Kholy stated that Egypt has received two B787-9 Dreamliner jets as part of a plan to buy six jets of the same model.

“We are making these investments to give our passengers better flying experiences and further demonstrate our dedication to providing a five-star airline service,” Kholy previously said.

Two planes of that model arrived in Egypt in March and April, respectively. By 2020, a total of 33 new jets will have joined EgyptAir’s fleet, in addition to six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets, 12 Airbus A220-300 planes, and 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet has 309 seats divided into 279 seats in the economy class, and 30 Super Diamond seats, which can turn into full-flat beds. The plane can fly for a distance ranging between 14,800 and 15,700 kilometers without transit. The aircraft’s fuel efficiency is 20 percent while its accuracy of quantity take-off is 99 percent.
]]>
6/10/2019 3:17:10 PM
<![CDATA[Dahab on top of ‘must-visit’ beaches in Middle East]]>
Dahab is home to coral reefs that are among the healthiest in the region being resilient to climate change. That is why visitors are recommended to use reef-safe sunscreen to not harm the ecosystem, as mentioned by National Geographic.

Dahab houses Ras Abu Galum, which is a “secluded wildlife and marine preserve” that can be reached by camel or boat, according to National Geographic. Dahab is also popular for the Blue Hole, which is a submarine sinkhole more than 300 feet deep that is famous among divers.

Dahab was formerly a Bedouin fishing village. Now, it has an array of budget and luxury hotels. Some of those properties are owned by bedouins. There is also the option of camps located on the beach and in the desert. ]]>
6/8/2019 4:44:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to establish biggest medical tourism city in MENA]]>
Mandour furhter clarified that 90% of the project investments are Egyptian and that the preliminary inspection of the project site was conducted.

The medical city will provide the latest medical services and state-of-the-art medical equipment and devices.

He further added that the city will include 13 medical institutes with a capacity of 2,000 beds, a medical helipad, an education hospital, and a medicinal plantation.

The project, according to Mandour, is considered a megal national project that will create many job opportunities.

Directives were given to all concerned authorities to coordinate and cooperate for the facilitation of the project.

Meawhile, general-secretary of the Badr University and medical city Dr. Mohamed Suliman said 10% of the total capacity of beds will be dedicated to the unfortunate, pointing out that the project aims at providing the best medical services for Egyptians and foriegners.

Dr. Suliman also added that the project will be established on around 109 acres and will start providing services after 30 months of implementation, pointing out that it is determined that the project will be done within five years of execution.

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6/7/2019 3:03:54 PM
<![CDATA[Real Madrid goalkeeper Navas visits Egyptian Museum in Cairo]]>
Navas and his family members watched in fascination the greatness of ancient Egyptian civilizations.

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-06 at 5.18.55 PM (1)
Costa Rican goalkeeper for Real Madrid Keylor Navas and his family pose for a picture outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo- Egypt Today/Ahmed Essam


After visiting the museum, the footballer and his family also took a tour of old Egyptian neighborhoods in Cairo. Later, they had lunch at a Nile restaurant before returning to the hotel again.

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-06 at 5.18.50 PM
Costa Rican goalkeeper for Real Madrid Keylor Navas and his family visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo- Egypt Today/Ahmed Essam


Following Cairo, Hurghada will be Rican footballer’s second tourist destination where he will spend five days. In Hurghada, Navas will visit Sahl Hasheesh and will go on a safari

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-06 at 5.18.54 PM (1)
Costa Rican goalkeeper for Real Madrid Keylor Navas and his family visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo- Egypt Today/Ahmed Essam


Additional reporting by Ahmed Essam]]>
6/6/2019 5:41:54 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt launches tourism campaign in Arab market]]>
The promotion campaign includes huge outdoor banners in the UAE and Saudi Arabia which work in parallel with an online campaign targeting the public via social media platforms as on Snapchat, Google, YouTube and Facebook in addition to video-sharing platforms like Dailymotion.

For his part, Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for the Promotion of Tourism Ahmed Yousef pointed to the importance of the Arab countries as a major market for incoming tourism to Egypt.

Yousef stressed the importance of benefiting from the opportunity of gathering Arab families during the holy month of Ramadan which is an ideal chance to display the rich diversity of different tourist patterns in Egypt.

The Gulf News, one of the most important English-language newspapers in the UAE, clarified that tourism companies in the United Arab Emirates said that Egypt ranked first in the list of destinations to which UAE tourists will go for Eid al Fitr.

The newspaper added that Mamoun Hamdan, director of the Middle East, North Africa and India, a specialized travel and tourism website, said that the site recorded Egypt ranked first, followed by Saudi ]]>
6/6/2019 10:55:44 AM
<![CDATA[First Serbian flight arrives at Cairo airport after 13-year hiatus]]>
The flight arrived at the airport with both Egyptian ambassador to Serbia and the Serbian ambassador to Egypt on board.

The step makes Egypt the only African stop for Serbian flights.]]>
6/5/2019 11:20:54 AM
<![CDATA[World Transport Convention to be held in June in Beijing]]>
Themed "Green and Intelligent Mobility for Future Transport," the four-day convention will consist of various sections, including keynote speeches, a transport expo, academic forums and competitions, one of its organizers, the China Association for Science and Technology, said at a press conference in Beijing.

The WTC 2019 will highlight activities about cooperation among the Belt and Road countries.

Advanced products and technology in fields such as smart transportation, automatic drive, the Internet of Things and green travel will be exhibited.

Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei will also be involved.

More than 10 international transport organizations and 40 academicians from home and abroad will participate in the convention, according to Liu Wenjie, secretary-general of the convention's executive committee.

As of May 31, more than 4,700 people have signed up for the event, and the number of participants is expected to reach 7,000, Liu said.]]>
6/4/2019 12:03:54 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir operates 1st Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet to Washington ]]>
The airliner is set to operate three direct flights weekly from Cairo International Airport to Dallas Airport in Washington, using the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets.

Chairman and CEO of EGYPTAIR Airlines Ashraf el-Kholy stated that Egypt has received two B787-9 Dreamliner jets as part of a plan to buy six jets of the same model.

“We are making these investments to give our passengers better flying experiences and further demonstrate our dedication to providing a five-star airline service,” Kholy previously said.

The two planes of that model arrived in Egypt in March and April, respectively. By 2020, a total of 33 new jets will have joined EgyptAir’s fleet, in addition to six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets, 12 Airbus A220-300 planes, and 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet has 309 seats divided into 279 seats in the economy class, and 30 Super Diamond seats, which can turn into full-flat beds. The plane can fly for a distance ranging between 14,800 and 15,700 kilometers without transit. The aircraft’s fuel efficiency is 20 percent while its accuracy of quantity take-off is 99 percent.


]]>
6/3/2019 5:42:52 PM
<![CDATA[Azerbaijan cancels $1 billion contract with Boeing for safety reasons]]>
“AZAL refused to buy 10 aircraft from Boeing due to safety reasons,” Pasha Kesaminsy told Reuters.

Boeing’s top-selling aircraft, the 737 MAX, has been grounded worldwide since the March 10 disaster, which killed 157 people and came just five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 in a plane of the same model.

Many countries barred 737 Max jets from taking off or landing at local airports.]]>
6/3/2019 11:26:51 AM
<![CDATA[Global airlines slash profit forecast on protectionism fears]]>
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents about 290 carriers or more than 80 percent of global air traffic, said the industry is expected to post a $28 billion profit in 2019, down from a December forecast of $35.5 billion.

“Airlines will still turn a profit this year, but there is no easy money to be made,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said at the group’s annual meeting in Seoul.

“Creeping protectionist or isolationist political agendas are on the rise,” he added.

Global stock markets tumbled on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s unexpected threat of tariffs on Mexican goods added to fears that escalating trade tensions will push the United States and other major economies into recession.

Airlines had reported $30 billion in annual profits in 2018, but conditions in the air cargo market - an extra source of revenue for carriers - have weakened substantially.

“You see that international trade is now at a zero growth rate, so there is an immediate impact on our cargo business,” de Juniac told Reuters TV.

IATA voiced concerns the trade tensions, which have forced several carriers in Asia to ground or delay taking delivery of air freighters, could spill into the passenger market.

Passenger capacity growth, which reached 6.9 percent in 2019, is forecast to slow to 4.7 percent this year, with average fares flat following a 2.1 percent decline in 2018.

The dip is potentially significant because airline profits track consumer confidence and global trade, economists say.

After struggling to inspire confidence for decades due to high fixed costs that are mainly out of their control, airlines have managed to cover the cost of their capital in recent years by squeezing their expenses and carrying out some restructuring.

But analysts have said that aviation is nearing the end of an extended business cycle.

The sector’s heavy reliance on one region, North America, for half of the global profits prompted leading consultant Peter Harbison to warn airline CEOs from the floor of the IATA meet that the industry’s good fortunes were a “temporary aberration”.

The industry’s growth continues to be stimulated by low fares, but such travel tends to be most vulnerable in a downturn, Harbison told Reuters.

‘LOW PRICES CAUSE CONGESTION’
In a $900 billion cut-throat industry brimming with tensions, the head of Germany’s Lufthansa hit out at low-cost airlines who slash fares to what he called unrealistic levels, though those firms say legacy carriers are bloated.

“I’m not complaining about the competition. Don’t get me wrong ... but that kind of ticketing below 10 euros is hurting the ... trust of public and politicians (and) congesting air traffic,” CEO Carsten Spohr said.

The practice also undermines climate goals by spurring trips that would not otherwise exist, he added.

Europe could see more airlines disappear after a series of failures through mergers or bankruptcies.

“We have just begun to see the beginning of it,” he said.

The CEO of the recently acquired UK-based Flybe said she saw a risk of “massive consolidation without independent and challenging carriers”.

Christine Ourmieres-Widener plans to step down on July 15, months after the sale of the low-cost airline to a consortium including Richard Branson.

Airbus said on Sunday it was receiving some requests to defer plane orders but denied the aviation market had cooled.

“I put it in the category of a discreet event more than a global phenomenon at this point. My impression is not that the tide has turned,” said sales chief Christian Scherer.

The planemaker is close to a deal to sell A330neo wide-body jets to Virgin Atlantic, people familiar with the matter said.]]>
6/2/2019 12:16:49 PM
<![CDATA[Mashat presents Egypt's efforts in investing in sustainable tourism]]>
During her presentation, Mashat highlighted Egypt's adoption of the concepts of sustainable development through applying a structural reform program, prioritizing green tourism and encouraging hotels to use clean and renewable energy to save power, and preserve environment.

Entitled "Success Stories for Investment in Sustainable Tourism," the panel was attended by representative of the Port of London Chris Rodrigues, head of Thomas Cook's Sustainability Sector Steve D'Alfonso, director of Finance TIMAS, Greece George, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mirko Šarović, Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region Michael Christides, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment of Albania Adrian Kamenica and several senior official.

During the session, Mashat reviewed the topics of the structural reform program launched by the Ministry to develop the tourism sector. She also highlighted the international awards received by Egypt reflecting the appreciation of multiple international institutions for Egypt's efforts to promote the tourism sector, such as the shield presented by the UNWTO to the President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in recognition of his effective support to the tourism sector and the contribution of the sector to Egypt's 2030 development strategy.

Also the "International Entrepreneurship in Tourism Award" received by Egypt from WTTC, in appreciation of the Council for its efforts to promote the sector and its resilience in the face of challenges.

She also stressed the importance of modernizing the promotional mechanisms for Egypt where the campaign of tourism promotion depends on the use of technology and digital platforms to cope with the successive changes in this field.

Mashat affirmed the support of the political leadership for the tourism sector, as it is the fastest growing economic sector and represents 20 percent of the GDP in Egypt, and one of the most important sectors that contribute to creating and providing jobs.

During the session, the Minister presented the promotional film prepared by Beautiful Destinations about Egypt.

The minister also stressed the ministry's keenness to increase the number of women working in the tourism sector, pointing out the cooperation between the ministry and the private sector in this regard, especially in the field of training and providing a workable environment for women.

In addition, the Minister praised the efforts of the National Council for Women (NCW) to promote the rights and freedoms of women, as well as non-discrimination and the principles of equal opportunity.]]>
6/1/2019 2:51:04 PM
<![CDATA[Direct flights between Sharm El Sheikh and Naples to operate in June]]>
The flight will operate once a week on Mondays, departing from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport at 12:45 p.m. (local time) and arriving at Naples International Airport at 4:30 p.m.

The return flights will depart from Naples International Airport at 5:20 p.m. and will arrive in Sharm El Sheikh International Airport at 8:50 p.m.

“Sharm El Sheikh and Naples are two prestigious cities. We are creating an opportunity for more people to discover the two destinations. Such a step supports the tourism sector and boosts business and trade exchange between the two Mediterranean cities,” Ali said.

Air Arabia has over 170 international and domestic routes from its hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt.

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5/31/2019 9:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[First direct flight between Cairo and Belgrade in June ]]>
The ceremony was attended by the Serbian deputy prime minister, the Serbian ministers of communication, trade and tourism and the CEO of the Serbian Airline.

Jowaili assured that the first flight between the two capitals is set to operate starting the first week of June. Belgrade is the only capital in the West Balkans to set off direct flights to Cairo and the latter will be the only African destination the Serbian Airlines reach.

Jowaili lauded dedicating a part of the ceremony to promoting tourism in Egypt where the most unique places in Egypt were displayed.

For his part, the Serbian tourism minister expressed his hope that the new partnership serves the two sides in Cairo and Belgrade and facilitates trade exchange to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
]]>
5/30/2019 3:09:52 PM
<![CDATA[S.Sinai governor mulls with Spanish consul activating tourism in Sharm el Sheikh]]>
The Spanish delegation is set to visit the South Sinai towns of Dahab, Nuweiba, Taba and Saint Catherine to get acquainted with the conditions in the governorate in preparation for receiving Spanish tourists, said a statement released by the governorate.

During the meeting, Fouda reviewed work progress achieved in South Sinai, particularly the major projects implemented in Sharm el Sheikh and Saint Catherine, including the project of duplicating Martyr Ahmed Hamdy Tunnel to Sharm El Sheikh in a way that will cut the distance from Cairo to the Red Sea city to only four hours.

Meanwhile, the Spanish consul thanked Fouda for his efforts in Sharm el Sheikh, expressing his pleasure over holding such fruitful meeting with the governor. ]]>
5/30/2019 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ramez Gala’s prank show promotes Egyptian tourism to Bali: Amb.]]>
“Thanks to this program, we had a tremendous response from people who want to visit Bali and asked for the packages,” he said during a Ramadan Iftar in Cairo.

“Egypt is a brotherly country and most Indonesians consider it as their second home. Over the past two years, we have seen quite a significant increase in the number of Indonesian students who study in Egypt,” Ambassador Helmy said, adding that the last year, 2,000 new Indonesian students arrived in Egypt.

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Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt in an Iftar party - Press photo
Bali is one of the top ten recommended tourist destination in 2019 all over the world due to its waterfalls, views of volcanos and sunrise, and diving, according to Trip Advisor.

In Galal's annual prank show, which always screens in Ramadan, Egyptian T.V. stars are seen in fear for their lives. This year, Galal chose Bali’s waterfalls to shoot his show where guests try to swim to the shore, while having the burden of saving a drowning cast member. Finally, a state of panic shrouds the guest when Galal appears in the form of a Gorilla.

Over the past two years, Gala has pranked famous Egyptian and international stars like Paris Hilton, Steven Seagal and Shah Rukh Khan. The reaction of Shah Rukh Khan during the punk show was the fourth most trending YouTube video during the first week of Ramadan 2017.

Additional reporting by Mustafa Marie]]>
5/29/2019 5:03:57 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to resume its flights to Abidjan as of June 20]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Holding Ahmed Adel said that the re-operation of flights to Abidjan coincides with the launch of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in June.

He further underlined that EgyptAir will be the official carrier of AFCON, set for Egypt from June 21 to July 19.

The two weekly flights to Abidjan via Accra, the capital and largest city of Ghana, will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he noted.]]>
5/29/2019 12:23:16 PM
<![CDATA[Pakistan extends airspace closure on Indian border to June 14]]>
Pakistan closed its airspace in February after a suicide attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to aerial bombing missions on each other’s soil and a fighter dogfight over Kashmir.

Foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.

“The closure will continue until June 14,” a spokesperson for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters, without giving further details.

Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor and the airspace restrictions impact hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.]]>
5/29/2019 12:16:35 PM
<![CDATA[Amb. in Berlin seeks to promote tourism in Egypt]]>
This came during his meeting with chairman of the German-European travel alliance Thomas Boisel which is the largest alliance of tourism companies and agencies in the European continent. The ambassador also reviewed the recent archaeological discoveries in Egypt.

Abdel Aati made it clear that the Sphinx Airport will be inaugurated soon, which would make visits to the Giza Pyramids Plateau and the GEM easier.

"We look forward to strengthening cooperation with the German alliance to further promote tourism to Egypt, especially cultural tourism," Abdel Aati added.

For his side, Boisel stressed the great importance the German-European alliance attaches to the Egyptian tourism, especially cultural tourism, pointing to the remarkable success witnessed by the 2014 annual conference of the alliance which was organized in the city of Luxor.

The two sides agreed during the meeting to intensify communication during the coming period to promote tourism to Egypt within Germany, and discuss the possibility of organizing the annual conference of the coalition in Egypt again.
]]>
5/28/2019 1:11:09 PM
<![CDATA[UNWTO highlights Egypt launch of Gender Equality Seal in tourism ]]>



Egypt’s strategy to empower women economically is guaranteed in its tourism reform program, which stipulates to “promote economic empowerment of women by increasing female workforce in the tourism sector. Tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income and can be a tool for women to become fully engaged and lead in society. Policy tools include: i. Diversity management; ii. Awareness campaigns tofight against sexual harassment; iii. Non-discrimination values in staff recruitment and training.”

By 2030, Egyptian women will become active contributors to the achievement for sustainable development in a nation that guarantees their constitutional rights, ensures their full protection, and provides – without discrimination – political, social, and economic opportunities that enable them to develop their capacities and achieve their full potential, according to Egypt’s program.

The National Council for Women (NCW) and the UNDP launched the Gender Equality Seal on Friday, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism represented by Minister Rania el-Mashat. NCW’s Maya Morsy said that the tourism sector is one of the main fields that attract a large number of women and business leaders.

The unemployment rate among women has decreased from 24.3 percent to 19 percent, said Morsy.

Women have turned to hold 15 percent of the parliamentary seats in 2018, compared to only 2 percent in 2013, which is considered the highest percentage ever in the history of the Egyptian Parliament, Morsy continued.

She also referred to the increase in the number of women ministers from 6 percent in 2015, to 20 percent in 2017, and then 25 percent in 2018, reiterating that it is also the highest percentage ever in the Egyptian history in this regard.

Recognizing a significant progress towards achieving gender equality in Egypt, the UNDP, in collaboration with the NCW, granted the “Gender Equality Seal” to the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) in March.

Gender Equality Seal

The UNDP introduced the Gender Equality Sealto support a more efficient and equitable workplace thatcontributes to the advancement of gender equality and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.




The Gender Equality Seal is expanding globally, after it piloted in Latin America, with more than 400 companies across ten countries have been certified since 2009.

According to the UNDP, the key areas for the Gender Equality Seal certification include:

• Eliminating gender-based pay gaps
• Increasing women’s roles in decision-making
• Enhancing work-life balance
• Enhancing women’s access to non-traditional jobs
• Eradicating sexual harassment at work
• Using inclusive, non-sexist communication]]>
5/27/2019 2:34:43 PM
<![CDATA[Boeing at two-week high as approval for 737 MAX to fly seen by late June]]>
Shares of the world’s biggest planemaker have fallen nearly 15% since the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet in March, erasing about $40 billion in market value.

The stock has also been among the worst performers on the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The benchmark index is up about 3% during the same period, while the Dow has risen by a marginal 0.2%.

“The dialogue is shifting more towards when the aircraft can get back into service as opposed to if,” Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani wrote in a note.

“With shares down about 20% from their recent highs ... and the risk-reward skewing more favorably, we are comfortable with our “overweight” rating and price target of $500.”

If the aircraft is cleared to fly by June, its operators, including Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc, would likely not have to extend costly cancellations that they have already put in place for the peak summer flying season.]]>
5/25/2019 2:06:45 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt 1st to implement Gender Equality Seal in tourism: NCW]]>


This came during Maya Morsy's speech in a seminar to announce the steps required for the various tourist institutions in Egypt to acquire the Gender Equality Seal of the United Nations Development Programme. Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat attended the seminar.

The NCW and the UNDP, in cooperation with the tourism sector, are launching a plan for women's empowerment in the tourism sector, Morsy said, adding that the tourism sector is one of the main fields that attracts a large number of women and business leaders.

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A seminar to announce the steps required for the various tourist institutions in Egypt to acquire the Gender Equality Seal of the United Nations Development Programme- Press photo


Morsy noted that unemployment rate among women has decreased from 24.3percent to 19 percent.

"Origin of the tale"

NCW has organized earlier a seminar whose title literally translated into "The Egyptian Woman: the Origin of the Tale" on the sidelines of the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held in Sharm El Sheikh.

Morsy said that there are some women who became pioneers in a number of fields women are new to, and are taking part in decision making. She added that it is the first time for a woman to occupy the post of the president's advisor for national security affairs.

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Women have turned to hold 15 percent of the parliamentary seats in 2018, compared to only 2 percent in 2013, which is considered the highest percentage ever in the history of the Egyptian Parliament, Morsy continued.

She also referred to the increase in the number of women ministers from 6 percent in 2015, to 20 percent in 2017, and then 25 percent in 2018, reiterating that it is also the highest percentage ever in the Egyptian history in this regard.

Moreover, the percentage of female investors in the Egyptian stock exchange has increased by 30 percent, Morsy said, stressing that some women have become in charge of micro-finance.

Such achievements have been part of the outcome of the Egyptian political management supporting women and working to apply their constitutional entitlements on the ground.

Referring to some of the women's achievements in the political field, Morsy said that Egyptian women took to the streets on June 30, 2013 (and took part in overthrowing the ruling Muslim Brotherhood regime at the time. ]]>
5/24/2019 11:00:02 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir, Ukraine International Airlines launch codeshare partnership]]>
Together, the two airlines offer their mutual customers connections between Cairo and Kiev. The flights will be available as of Thursday on both airlines’ booking systems, allowing access to major cities on both airlines' networks.

"Kiev is one of the dynamic hubs in Eastern Europe and is one of the destinations increasingly demanded by our customers. So, we gladly announce the new cooperation with Ukraine International Airlines. Together, we will offer our customers seamless connections between Cairo International Airport, a main hub to Africa, the Middle East and the Far East, and Kiev Boryspil International Airport," said EgyptAir chairman and CEO Ahmed Adel.

"This cooperation agreement opens a new horizon for EgyptAir’s network to reach more than 20 destinations in Europe," Adel said.

"After a 15-year hiatus, Cairo was chosen to be our first scheduled flight destination in Africa," said Yuri Miroshnikov, Ukraine International Airlines president and CEO.

"We are delighted to be working with EgyptAir as our partner, not only for promoting Cairo as the 'Gateway to Egypt' but also developing traffic over EgyptAir’s Cairo hub to their network in Africa & the Middle East/Gulf," he added.
]]>
5/23/2019 3:15:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Algeria mull tourism cooperation]]>
In statements to MENA on Monday, Mosharafa noted that the meeting fell within the framework of the Egyptian Embassy's efforts to give a boost to the tourism sector in Egypt and promote for its multi-destination tourism product.

The ambassador voiced his interest in increasing the number of Algerian tourists to Egypt, pointing out that 41,000 Algerian tourists visited the country in 2018.

Egypt is considered the fourth most favored destination for Algerian tourists after France, Tunisia and Turkey, he added.

He reviewed features offered to the Algerians who are interested in attending the African Cup of Nations championship, set to be held in June.

The meeting touched on the possibility of benefiting from the Egyptian expertise in hotel training and tourism promotion.

Talks also tackled ways of increasing flights and charter flights between the two countries to push up the tourist flow.]]>
5/21/2019 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism Minister escorts South African tourists to Pyramids]]>
The tourists were targeted earlier today by an explosion at Al Remaya district in Giza governorate

Al-Mashat visited the hospital where the tourists were checked to be treated from minor injuries due to the explosion, escorted a group of them to visit the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx.





The tourists received a brief on the history of the monuments from the director of Giza Pyramids area. The minister was keen to escort the tourists to their hotel where she met the South African ambassador to Egypt.

An explosion has targeted a bus carrying 25 tourists from South Africa and a private car carrying four civilians in Al Remaya area, Giza.

Injured people were reported; they suffered minors injures due to shattered glass of bus windows.
]]>
5/20/2019 1:11:03 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir carries 3K pilgrims to Saudi Arabia]]>
EgyptAir is expected to transfer around 100,000 pilgrims during the Umrah season in the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Umrah is the non-mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca, which may be performed at any time of the year.

EgyptAir has carried a total of 10,700 Palestinian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah from March 4 until May 17. The Egyptian flag carrier said it operated 44 flights for this purpose.

Authorities of Cairo airport coordinated with the national airliner to finalize the arrival procedures of pilgrims who came through Rafah Border Crossing.

According to a cooperation protocol signed between EgyptAir and the Palestinian authorities, about 13,000 Palestinian pilgrims would be carried via 56 flights from March 4 till June 5.]]>
5/18/2019 12:40:07 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir carries more than 10,000 Palestinian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia]]>
The Egyptian flag carrier said it operated 44 flights for this purpose.

Authorities of Cairo airport coordinated with the national airlines to finalize the arrival procedures of pilgrims who came through Rafah Border Crossing.

According to a cooperation protocol signed between EgyptAir and the Palestinian authorities, about 13,000 Palestinian pilgrims would be carried via 56 flights from March 4 till June 5. ]]>
5/17/2019 11:59:00 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir offers 3 direct, weekly fights to Washington starting June]]>
The flights will be operated by Boeing’s B787-9 Dreamliner. The weekly flights are expected to take off on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Cairo and to return from Washington on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Special flight offers will be granted to EgyptAir's new destination,Washington, as part of the company’s promotion strategy for it.

On April 18, EgyptAir celebrated the arrival of the second Boeing Dreamliner B787-9 as part of a long-term purchase of six air crafts.

The ceremony was organized by Boeing, one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers, in Seattle and was attended by the media advisor to the minister of aviation and marketing director of EgyptAir Dina al-Fouly; in addition to several senior officials and the accompanying media delegation.

Boeing announced that they are looking forward to more effective cooperation with EgyptAir which is considered one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the region, stressing that EgyptAir is one of Boeing's most important customers.

On March 28, Cairo International Airport received its first Dreamliner aircraft and in April it took off on its first flight to Kuwait.


]]>
5/15/2019 11:57:54 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian delegation takes part in AFRAA meeting in Mauritius]]>
The participation came upon Air Mauritius'invitation to the Egyptian delegation. Several members and CEOs of African airlines attended the meeting.

Adel stated that EgyptAir is effectively cooperating with AFRAA’s member companies in all sectors.

He added that AFRAA’s member companies cooperate to exchange knowledge about means to develop aviation in Africa. He affirmed that such cooperation should continue to achieve more success in the air transport industry in Africa.

According to Adel, the member companies have agreed to hold the coming annual meeting, which will mark the 179th round of AFRAA’s executive committee, in Cairo on July 30.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is a trade association of airlines which hail from the nations of the African Union. The association was founded in Accra, Ghana in 1968 and is today headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

]]>
5/14/2019 11:50:02 AM
<![CDATA[Parliament to discuss no-entry visa agreement between Egypt, Azerbaijan]]>
The report was drafted by the foreign affairs and national security committees at the Parliament upon an agreement signed by both Egypt and Azerbaijan in Baku in May 24, 2010.

According to the report, the agreement aims to facilitate the entry of citizens from both countries who hold diplomatic or special passports or are on a specific mission, to be exempted from applying for a visa, and to be granted a 30-day stay.

The agreement also facilitates visits by high-ranking officials from both countries, as one of the international tools known to boost bilateral relations.

If passed by the Parliament, the agreement will further enable those who were assigned to work for diplomatic missions, consulates or international organizations in any of both countries to stay with their family members who hold diplomatic or special passports for the whole period of the mission.

In case citizens with diplomatic or special passports wanted to stay longer than 30 days, they will need to apply for a stay visa upon the requirements of each country.

In November 2018, Egypt and Azerbaijan launched the first sxsdirect flight route between Baku and the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh. Both countries hope the route helps boost the volume of trade exchange between the two countries to hit about $7 billion.





]]>
5/13/2019 11:19:07 AM
<![CDATA[Documentary series to promote tourism in Egypt launched ]]>
Set to be aired on Freedom OrtleIl Confine channel, the series will be presented by Italian presenter Roberto Giacobbo, who is one of the most famous presenters of tourist programs in Italy, and Egyptologist ZahiHawass.

During the launch of the campaign, some scenes of the documentary films screened; the films will be aired onthe Italian TV and the official social media pages of the General Authority for Tourism Development.

The films capture scenes of archeological sites, including the Giza Pyramids. Sebastian Lombardi, the head of Italian Channel 4 (Rete 4), said that they worked with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism “to show the beauty of Egypt and its civilization depicted in the construction of the pyramids.”

He added that they are trying “to explore Egypt in a differentand attractive way amid the momentum of its civilization.The program will talk about the Egyptian beauty and history. Tourists have a lot of expectationsand interest in knowing more about Egypt’s ancient civilization.”

This campaign comes within the framework of the government's effortsto diversify marketing and promotional mechanisms for tourism in Egypt by launching partnerships with famous programs to reach the target audience.

One of the important pillars of the ministry’s strategy to promote for tourism in Egypt is the use of modern tools and methods to provide a modern image rather than stereotyped one about the sector. The ministry used social media for marketing and signed agreements with bloggers to promote for Egyptian destinations.

On Saturday, CNN news network displayed an ad promotingtourism to Egypt, three days after the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism signed a deal with the US agency for producing a series of films about touristic places in Egypt.

The 2.2-minute ad shows many charming and exhilarating places in Luxor, Aswan, Cairo, Saint Catherine, White Desert and SharmEl Sheikh.
a
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5/12/2019 1:01:47 PM
<![CDATA[Italy's MediaSet to air documentary films on Egyptian civilization as of May 22]]>
She made the remarks during a ceremony marking the announcement of a series of documentary films about Egypt produced by Italian channels group MediaSet.

Mashaat noted that the ministry tries to cooperate with various media, like CNN and MediaSet, to promote Egyptian tourism in various markets.

She noted that the Italian program Freedom Oltre Il Confine will start airing the documentary films series as of May 22, hailing the cooperation of the Ministry of Antiquities in offering all help for the Italian channels to shed light on the glamour of Egyptian civilization.]]>
5/12/2019 11:15:15 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to carry 100,000 Umrah pilgrims to Saudi Arabia]]>
The flag carrier will operate nearly 500 flights from Cairo, Borg El Arab and Luxor airports until June 20.

The company is expected to ferry around 100,000 pilgrims during the Umrah season in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. ]]>
5/12/2019 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[CNN publishes ad promoting tourism to Egypt]]>
The 2.2-minute ad shows many charming and exhilarating places in Luxor Aswan, Cairo, Saint Catherine, White Desert, and Sharm el Sheikh.



On 8 May 2019, Egypt signed an agreement with CNN to promote tourism through implementing an international tourism campaign. The campaign will use different platforms, including television, as well as digital and social media sites.

On January 4, 2019, CNN Travel published their annual list of top destinations for the year, placing Egypt in Second place, after Christchurch, New Zealand.

“So what's different in 2019?” writes CNN. “Well, while the sand has been settling on deserted classic monuments, Egyptologists have been brushing it gently aside elsewhere to discover a litany of exciting finds, many of which are now being opened to the public,” answers CNN.

As for the safety concerns, CNN writes, “And while safety concerns persist, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings take place without incident each year. Likewise, Egypt's main Red Sea resorts are considered safe.”

Positively, CNN expects Egypt to receive many more tourists in the run up to its 2020 opening of its Grand Egyptian Museum.
The government is exerting great efforts to bring about revival to Egypt’s tourism sector, which has seen a setback since the outbreak of January 25 Revolution in 2011.

Additional reporting by Lolwa Reda
]]>
5/11/2019 12:43:36 PM
<![CDATA[Startup 'Wasel' brings easier mobility to Egypt inter-city travelers]]>
Launched in March 2018, under the title ’Wasel’, the startup is an inter-city travel tech startup that allows the listing and booking of private and shared rides been Egyptian governorates and cities.

The startup has a flat rate pricing model, and says it provides safe and affordable transportation options where they have previously been lacking, according to Disrupt Africa.

Founder and CEO of ’Wasel’, Ahmed El-Rawy, while working in Upper Egypt, posted on social media canvassing opinions on a possible carpooling service between Cairo and Minya governorate, located on the western bank of the Nile River.

After receiving very positive feedback, he had a simple online version of such a platform developed, and made it available to tenants at the Cloud co-working space for their views.

Disrupt Africa is a one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem.

The startup now 13 routes between Cairo, Beni Suef, Minya and Assuit, and has transported more than 3,000 passengers.

It also offers shipping options, and El-Rawy believes it is tapping into a major market – hundreds of thousands of Egyptians travel between cities on a daily basis, restricted to the schedules of train and bus services.

“Most of them suffer from many problems, like the timing of the train not being suitable or being delayed, besides the challenges of getting a ticket,” he said.

“With Wasel you can book your seat in an air-conditioned and comfortable car to travel to any place between two cities in an easy way and at a convenient price.”

The startup took part in the Flat6Labs Cairo accelerator programs last year, securing some seed funding as a result. It has also received a grant from the UK Embassy in Egypt.
]]>
5/10/2019 11:40:26 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt opens museums for free on International Museum Day ]]>
In a Tuesday statement, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced that the museums will be open for visitors all day.

The International Museum Day has been coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) since 1977.

On its website, ICOM explained that this day represents a "unique moment for the international museum community".

“The objective of the International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples,” the ICOM website stated.

Organized on May 18 each year or around this date, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or an entire week. IMD was celebrated for the first time 40 years ago. All around the world, more and more museums participate in the International Museum Day.

Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the event in about 158 countries and territories, according to the ICOM website.]]>
5/9/2019 11:43:33 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, CNN engage in partnership for global tourism campaign]]>
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism is embarking on an expanded partnership with CNN in a global tourism campaign that showcases a contemporary Egypt across an innovative mix of TV, digital and social media platforms, according to CNN.

The new partnership between CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) and Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism sees both parties working closely together for this wide-reaching campaign, starting in May, to enrapture and excite Egypt’s key audiences around the world.

The objective of the partnership is to continue and accelerate the country’s tourism growth. By showcasing the beauty of the country through its diverse destinations and the warmth and hospitality of its people amongst CNN’s global audience, this campaign is designed to deliver on Minister of Tourism Rania el Mashaat’s vision of developing a sustainable tourism sector and helping Egypt grow visitor numbers as highlighted in the Egypt—Tourism Reform Program (E—TRP).

This partnership is particularly timely with 2019 being an important year for the country as it hosts major events such as the Africa Cup of Nations and prepares for the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in 2020.

Key audiences ranging from families to independent adventurers and business travelers from key markets such as Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East are the focus for the CNN campaign. It will tap into the high interest in travel amongst CNN audiences, 66% of whom are personally interested in travel, with 50% travelling internationally each year.

Innovation lies at the heart of the partnership through the utilization of CNN’s sophisticated data capabilities and insight to reach these audiences. CNN will leverage its unique scale via TV networks as well as precision targeting across digital and social media to optimize a brand campaign showing the beauty of Egypt, its culture and people across these platforms as TV adverts, native advertising and targeted social media posts using Turner’s Launchpad technology to reach defined audiences.

To increase engagement with CNN’s audiences, advertising will be placed adjacent to relevant content such as CNN Travel on digital platforms, using first-party data to reach specific segments and engage with CNN’s audiences showing interest in editorial content about Egypt.

CNN’s continued commitment to covering diverse stories about global destinations will continue with a range of truly inspirational CNN digital and TV programming about Egypt such as Destination Egypt, which will explore some of the country’s wonders in a new light; #MyEgypt, which will discover Egypt through a seasoned traveller with insider knowledge of the country; and Cairo POV, which looks at how millennial travellers uncover local experiences on their adventures.

“The diversification of marketing and media platforms, a key pillar of the Egypt—Tourism Reform Program, contributes to the changing narrative of the sector. The combined appeal of the beauty of Egypt and warmth of our people is the foundation of the significant growth in our country’s tourism,” said Mashaat. ”We see even greater potential in this sector, and are therefore partnering with CNN on this multi-platform initiative, peaking during periods of relevant content, to highlight everything that Egypt has to offer on a global stage. By working with CNN we know we are showcasing our country to a highly relevant and engaged audience with the means and passion to travel to new places. Moreover, bringing the future into Egypt’s tourism sector, our legacy, a sector full of history is key in this era of globalization.”

“It excites me when we evolve a long-term relationship with a key partner into new and innovative areas,” said Cathy Ibal, Vice President, CNN International Commercial. “This new partnership takes our nation branding work with Egypt Ministry of Tourism to a new level by leveraging the cumulative impact of all CNN platforms, content and technology to ensure that the beauty of Egypt and its people resonates deeply with the right audiences. We look forward to working with Mashaat and her team to implement this campaign for maximum impact.” ]]>
5/8/2019 11:36:51 AM
<![CDATA[New Valley produces finest dates in Egypt]]>
Fouad said that there is a big difference between dates of the New Valley and other dates,as New Valley dates are characterized by their higher quality.

"Over the course of many years, the rate of date production has increased annually with the expansion of palm tree cultivation in the governorate," Fouad added.

In the same context, Minister of Trade Amr Nassar announced in April 2019 that the Egyptian government is set to inaugurate the biggest date's factory in New Valley governorate.

Nassar added that the factory will be opened in cooperation with UAE’s Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.
]]>
5/8/2019 10:57:37 AM
<![CDATA[Pope makes historic first visit to North Macedonia]]>
In a meeting with government authorities, Francis praised North Macedonia's multi-ethnic and multi-faith culture and said its example of being a bridge between East and West showed that there can be peaceful coexistence.

"These particular features are also highly significant for increased integration with the nations of Europe," he said. "It is my hope that this integration will develop in a way that is beneficial for the entire region of the Western Balkans, with unfailing respect for diversity and for fundamental rights."]]>
5/7/2019 11:33:57 AM
<![CDATA[Species conservation: some success, many failures]]>
Some creatures once teetering on the edge of recovery, such as giant pandas and bluefin tuna, have fared fairly well, while efforts to save others, including sharks and cedars, have largely fallen short.

Here are some successes and failures in conservation efforts.

- Giant panda -

The giant panda, native to China, has been on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) "Red List" of endangered species for years. Determined to protect its national treasure, the Chinese government began replanting the bamboo the bears feed on exclusively and organised funding for zoos to host pandas.

The panda has become something of a totem for species preservation, instantly recognised the world over. It however remains classified as "vulnerable" with less than 2,000 thought to remain in the wild.

- Bearded vulture -

The bearded vulture, which can attain a three-metre wingspan, had almost disappeared in Europe by the start of the 20th century. But 30 years ago it became part of a reintegration programme in the mountains of France. Its population in France currently sits at around 60 couples.

- Bluefin tuna -

Bluefin tuna, a mainstay delicacy of Japanese cuisine, was decimated by decades of overfishing in the Mediterranean and Atlantic before being added to a UN protected species list.

New quotas and protection measures have allowed stocks to largely recover, though there are fears for the long-term viability of other heavily fished tunas, including big eye.

- Sehuencas water frog -

Until recently this frog, indigenous to Bolivia, was thought to be on the way to extinction with just a single known specimen, a male named Romeo.

But an expedition last year discovered a living female specimen, who was named -- you guessed it -- Juliet. It is hoped that the pair will mate and save one of the world's most imperilled species.

- Cedars -

The mighty cedar trees of Lebanon are mentioned in the Bible and have clung to the mountains along the eastern Mediterranean for centuries.

But as climate change makes water cycles less dependable and brings more pests such as insects, the "Cedars of God" are under threat like never before.

In 2012 Lebanon's agriculture ministry launched a programme to plant 40 million cedars by 2030. The tree is still classified as "vulnerable" by the IUCN.

- Corals -

Coral reefs cover less than 0.2 percent of the ocean bed but support around 30 percent of all known marine life. They are under threat from warming seas, which kill the coral and prevent reefs regenerating, as well as pollution, invasive species and tourism.

The UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change in a landmark report last October warned that just 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) of global warming could see 70-90 percent of Earth's coral reefs vanish.

- Sharks -

Sharks have stalked the oceans for more than 400 million years but they are now under threat from an even more devastating predator -- humans.

Of the 59 species of rays and sharks evaluated so far by the IUCN, 17 are classified at risk of extinction as overfishing and habitat destruction continues apace.

- Galapagos tortoise -

When Lonesome George, a 90-year-old giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands, died in 2012, so did his species.

The islands' giant tortoise population was ravaged by pirates and poachers in the 18th century and the creatures -- which lived to over 100 and took decades to reach maturity -- could not reproduce quick enough to save themselves.]]>
5/6/2019 2:39:38 PM
<![CDATA[Adventures by Disney picks Egypt as major tourist destination in 2020]]>
It offered a 10-day trip, including five locations and 22 sites in Egypt; from Cairo to Aswan to Luxor then Sharm El Sheikh.

The tour will include visits to breathtaking places like the Pyramids, the Sphinx, Saladin Citadel, Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), and Khan El-Khalili Market as well as Edfu and Luxor temples and more.

The program also includes a three-night River cruise and cultural activities like an Egyptian cooking class, Nubian folkloric show, henna tattoo experience, and a hieroglyphic writing lesson.

During the itinerary, visitors will enjoy snorkeling at Ras Mohammad National Park in the Red Sea.]]>
5/5/2019 1:17:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt signs deal with CNN to promote tourism]]>
The new partnership comes in light of Egypt’s reform program in tourism sector to introduce a contemporary and non-stereotyped image of Egyptian tourist destinations, the statement said.

On the sidelines of the 2019 World Tourism Forum held in Lucerne, Switzerland, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat on Friday participated in an emergency session on the touristic situation in Sri Lanka in the wake of the series of terrorist attacks that claimed lives of 250 people.

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Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat participating in the 2019 World Tourism Forum held in Lucerne- press photo


Mashat represented Egypt as a good model for tourism revival and facing problems that affected tourism sector, particularly after it was awarded the WTTC Global Champion Award in April 2019, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Terrorism on Friday.

With the assistance of government and private sectors, Egypt's tourism managed to overcome huge crises it has faced since 2011, al-Mashat said. Tourism is a cornerstone of Egypt’s economy, a source of income for millions of citizens and a major source of foreign exchange. But the sector suffered severely in the years following 2011’s popular uprising and was further hampered by a spate of militant attacks which targeted visitors.]]>
5/4/2019 11:53:45 AM
<![CDATA[Canada updates travel advice on Egypt to 2nd category]]>
Over the past few years, Egypt was in the third category of “Avoid non-essential travel,” said the Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in the statement, noting that the update was made due to Egypt’s improving security situation.

As per the updated travel advice, Suez Canal and Ismailia governorates were removed from the highly-risked areas in Egypt. Meanwhile, the authorities are still asking their citizens to avoid traveling to Sinai, except for Sharm El Sheikh Resort, and avoid travelling to the Western desert and Libyan border area, Abu Zeid said.

“The update of the travel advice reflects the effectiveness of the measures taken by Egypt over the past years to bring stability and combat terrorism,” said Abu Zeid, adding that this would contribute to recovering Canadian tourism to Egypt and increasing investment flows to the country.]]>
5/2/2019 5:19:13 PM
<![CDATA[Police fail to prevent Egyptian man from climbing Great Pyramid]]>
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in an interview with al-Hayah al-Youm that the young man accessed the area surrounding the Pyramids like other visitors in the early morning.

However, he suddenly tried to climb the Great Pyramid and threw small rocks at the police personnel, who subsequently decided to let him go, fearing for his life and the lives of the policemen until he reached the top of the Pyramid, according to Waziri.

The young man also removed part of the wooden mast atop of the Pyramid, which is placed to inform visitors about the original height of the pyramid which was 146 meters, before it decreased 1,000 years ago to reach 137 meters, Waziri said.

Charges he faces

Law no. 117 of 1983 stipulates that anyone who deliberately destroys or disfigures a monument, separates part of it intentionally or digs for antiquities would be handed an imprisonment sentence of 3 -7 years.

However, the young man did not spoil any antiquities, Waziri said, adding that the wooden mast is a modern object that the authority places and changes every few years as it is subject to erosion and sunlight.

"Spoiling it (the mast) is not considered a crime according to the law of antiquities or the law of protecting the antiquities,"Waziri stated.

This is not the first time. Many people climbed the Great Pyramid despite the alleged tight security measures around the over 4,500 year-old construction.

Tourists photographed naked

Danish photographer Andreas Hvid and a Danish girl accompanying him managed to climb the Great Pyramid in November last year, where they photographed themselves naked, stirring the wrath of many Egyptians who considered the act offensive.

In an interview with Copenhagen-based Ekstra Bladet, Andreas Hvid said he has always dreamt of climbing the Great Pyramid and taking naked photos over its top. He added that he is now very upset as some people are mad at him.

Hvid said he attempted to climb the pyramid with a Norwegian friend twice. In the first time, he asked the guards to allow them to climb the Pyramid, but they were not allowed, he said, adding that in the second time they were arrested while actually attempting to climb the Pyramid, and were then released following interrogation.

In the third time, Hvid seemingly managed to reach the top. He said he and another Danish friend took a different route away from the guards, and waited until tourists left the Pyramid. They climbed and could reach the top in 25 minutes only, he said.

Hvid said he did not have sex on top of the Pyramid, confirming that they have taken one photo while they were naked. ]]>
5/2/2019 3:00:58 PM
<![CDATA[Pushing the limits: Qantas seeks backing from pilots, regulator for record-long routes]]>
Airlines around the world are planning longer flights to compete with one-stop rivals and collect a fare premium of about 20 percent on non-stop routes, which are especially popular with corporate travelers.

Airbus SE and Boeing Co say their aircraft are ready, with only details like seat configuration left to hammer out, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

But there is a human cost to flying from Sydney to London or New York that must be resolved before tickets are sold, Joyce added.

“We don’t have the ability to do that length of duty today so you do need to negotiate that and get the regulator comfortable with it,” Joyce told Reuters in a phone interview. “If the business case works ... (we can) put an order in by the end of this year and have aircraft arriving in 2022.”

Qantas pilots say the unprecedented length of the new flights means the airline needs do more research, consider more training, use more experienced pilots and change what they say is a flawed fatigue-reporting system.

The maximum pilot duty time on the Sydney-London flights is expected to be around 23 hours, more than the current limit of 20 hours. “Duty” includes time on the ground before and after flights during which the flight crew is working.

Qantas already has 17-hour non-stop journeys between Perth and London with four pilots onboard.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will evaluate the proposed longer duty time based partly on a study of pilot fatigue on the Perth-London route, agency spokesman Peter Gibson said.

It could approve longer hours, reject the proposal, approve a shorter duty time or require new measures like a more experienced crew or extended rest periods.

“The technological change is obviously there but the human physiological side hasn’t changed since the Wright brothers flew,” said Mark Sedgwick, the head of the Qantas pilots union, The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA). “We really need to understand the effects on human performance on the flight deck of these ultra-long range flights.”

REPORTING FATIGUE

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau in January released a study on pilot fatigue that found 60 percent of long-haul pilots had experienced moderate to severe fatigue on their most recent flight.

One issue: take-off times that work best for passengers on long flights are not ideal for easing pilot fatigue.

“From a passenger’s point of view, a night flight at the end of the day makes it easier to adjust to the time,” former Qantas head of safety Ron Bartsch said. “Obviously being up the front end, (the pilots) are doing some work.”

Managing fatigue is a serious issue for airlines globally, and CASA is overseeing a new data-driven fatigue risk-management system at Qantas. The agency says the new system, which also takes into account fatigue reports from pilots, will create a flexible framework for duty times rather than prescriptive rules.

CASA and AIPA are also sponsoring a detailed fatigue study by Monash University that monitors sleep patterns of pilots on the Perth-London route.

Measures to fight fatigue could include putting more flight crew onboard; adding crew beds; requiring more rest before and after flights; providing transport home; and reducing subsequent duty periods, Gibson said.

According to Qantas, pilots who feel too fatigued must complete a report.

The time off is then treated as sick leave, the airline said, but Brad Hodson, a Qantas captain and union official who has flown from Perth to London, said the policy could lead to under-reporting.

“It is easier just to go sick because you don’t have to fill in reports,” he said.

How pilots are paid when they take time off because of fatigue is an “industrial issue” outside CASA’s jurisdiction, Gibson said.

Qantas and AIPA are negotiating a new union contract for long-haul pilots. Joyce said he hoped for an agreement this year.

“AIPA is supportive of the commercial benefits that may flow to Qantas in being able to operate these long premium routes with minimal competition,” Sedgwick said. “We want to make sure the safety and fatigue management issues are adequately addressed in the process of enabling these flights.”

EXPERIENCE LEVELS

Crew experience on long-haul flights also will be part of contract negotiations, Sedgwick said.

The world’s longest flight is Singapore Airlines Ltd’s almost 19-hour journey from Singapore to New York.

Singapore’s aviation regulator said in a statement that it requires the airline to have two captains and two first officers on shifts of more than 18 hours, including time before and after takeoff, to “optimize their alertness throughout the flight.”

Qantas, which has a maximum duty period of around 20 hours on its Perth-London flights, also has four pilots. Crew can rest in bunks.

But the Australian airline uses one captain, one first officer and two second officers. Second officers are paid less, can fly only at cruising altitudes and cannot take off or land.

Hodson said Qantas did not necessarily need to put two captains and two first officers on each flight. More training for second officers or adding a first officer in place of one second officer were options, he added.

“I think having another qualified pilot who could sit in the seat for take-off and landing would ameliorate a lot of the issues there,” Hodson said. “But Qantas won’t like that because it costs money.”

Joyce said the final crew mix and training had not been decided.

“We will need to work through the safety case and our requirements and then talk to pilots and regulators,” he said.]]>
5/1/2019 11:35:54 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism min. heads for Switzerland to attend World Tourism Forum]]>
On the sidelines of her participation in the event, Mashaat will visit Lucerne Hotel Management School, which is one of the most important educational institutions in the field of tourism and hotels, to discuss means of improving the efficiency of workers in the Egyptian tourism sector.

More than 500 ministers, tourism industrialists, investors, decision makers, policy makers, academics and entrepreneurs will take part in the forum.]]>
4/30/2019 1:54:44 PM
<![CDATA[7,800 Palestinian pilgrims flown by EgyptAir to S. Arabia to perform Ummrah since March]]>
In a statement, the Egyptian national flag carrier said that it will operate on Monday four flights to transport another 930 pilgrims according to a cooperation protocol with the Palestinian side.

The protocol states that EgyptAir is to operate 56 flights to ferry 13,00 pilgrims as of March 4 until June 5, the statement said, adding that the flights are to be operated weekly on Mondays.]]>
4/29/2019 10:46:11 AM
<![CDATA[National parks, gardens prepared ahead of Sham el-Nessim celebrations]]>
Giza Zoo, Cairo’s Orman , Al-Azhar Parks are prepared to receive visitors on Monday to enjoy sunny mornings amid tightened security measures announced ahead of celebrations.

Panorama Park on Fayoum Road in Giza will open for free for public during celebrations of Easter and Sham el-Nessim.

Meanwhile, dozens of Egyptians like to cruise down the Nile on Nile buses, one of Egyptian cheapest and most entertaining means of transportation.

Dakahlia Governor Kamal Sharobeem said that parks were prepared across the governorate to receive citizens.

Last year, El Arbaeen District Flower Show opened for the first time after a six-year hiatus, in celebration of Sham El-Nessim in Suez governorate.

Flower show in Suez Canal- Egypt Today- Sayyed Noun
Flower show in Suez Canal - Egypt Today/Sayyed Noun


Sham El-Nessim is an old spring festival celebrated by the Egyptians since 2,700 BC (the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom).

A group of girls are performing hula hooping belly in Marsa Matrouh governorate on Sham el Nassim day- Egypt Today
A group of girls are performing hula hooping belly in Marsa Matrouh governorate on Sham El-Nessim - Egypt Today


The festival is related to the agricultural background of ancient Egyptians. The name Sham El-Nessim or (inhaling the breeze) is derived from the Coptic language, which was derived from the ancient Egyptian language. The original pronunciation is Tshom Ni Tshom, which means garden meadows.

Egypt’s public hospitals and clinics are on high alert for possible food poisoning cases, caused by salted fish which is the main dish on Egyptians’ tables on Sham El-Nessim.]]>
4/28/2019 12:57:26 PM
<![CDATA[Mashat heads for Dubai to partake in Arabian Travel Market]]>
Before leaving Cairo, Mashat stressed the importance of participating in the event in light of the Tourism Ministry's strategy to attract more Arab tourists to Egypt.

Egypt is a favorable destination for the Arab tourists, she said, adding that 30 percent of Egypt's tourists came from the Arab market.

Several meetings will be held on the fringe of the event to exchange expertise and discuss ways to boost tourism among the Arab states.

About 56 participants will partake in the 600-meter square event, including 30 tour operators and 22 hotels, in addition to EgyptAir and Air Cairo airlines.]]>
4/28/2019 11:34:16 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir operates 440 domestic flights to touristic cities in Easter]]>
Chairman of EgyptAir Express Sherif Khalil said that the company will operate 107 flights to Sharm el Sheikh, 120 flights to Hurghada, 88 flights to Luxor, 92 flights to Aswan and 33 flights to Abu Simbel.

He added that the company is ready to operate more flights if needed.]]>
4/28/2019 11:29:52 AM
<![CDATA[Air India server systems restored after affecting flights worldwide]]>
“Air India System restored,” chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India, Ashwani Lohani told Reuters partner ANI.

The state-owned carrier a Tweeted earlier “Due to a breakdown in our server system some of our flights are getting affected all over the world.”

Several travelers, including Bollywood actress Gul Panag, took to Twitter to complain about the flight disruptions.

".@airindiain (SITA Liason) systems have crashed and all flights are indefinitely delayed, Panag tweeted. bit.ly/2PwHuid "Not a good thing in a market that's already stretched for capacity @MoCA_GoI."

India’s Jet Airways, which previously had a fleet of around 120 largely Boeing Co planes, was forced to indefinitely halt all flight operations on April 17 after its banks rejected the carrier’s plea for emergency funds.]]>
4/27/2019 11:54:20 AM
<![CDATA[Miss Europe 2019 visits Giza’s Pyramids]]>
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Revealing the reason behind her visit to the pyramids for a photoshoot, Atef told Egypt Today “I am so impressed with Egyptian women’s glory and their unique characters. Only Egyptian women enjoy peerless traits such as patience, willingness, insistence, strength, and acceptance.” She expressed her honor of sharing Egyptian origin, voicing her fondness of Queen Cleopatra.

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The Pyramids reflect the majesty of the Egyptian monuments and the innovation of the Egyptian people and greatness of Egyptian civilization, she added.

Atef visited other archaeological places such as Khan el-Khalili downtown Cairo. She was keen to eat popular Egyptian food like Falafel and Kushari.

“Egypt is the cradle of culture and the origin of fashion, beauty and civilization. It is full of colorful and old prestigious buildings. Egypt is the land of safe and security; a feeling of home. I experienced mixed feelings of nostalgia, homesickness and inner peace,” told Egypt Today.

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“I am preparing right now a patriotic Egyptian song and I hope it reflects my deep emotions and love for my homeland Egypt,” Atef stated.

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Atef was born and raised in Paris. She studied Law and Languages at Sorbonne. She was awarded many prizes, prominently Oublie-moi- Award.

Additional reporting by Noura Tarek

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4/26/2019 6:00:13 PM
<![CDATA[Mangroovy El Gouna Residence Brings New Standard Of Luxury To El-Gouna With Soon-to-be-announced Boutique Resort ]]>
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Construction of the 160-room resort is expected to start later this year as part of Mangroovy’s ambitious master-plan and will include a mix of rooms and fully-serviced residential suites, many of which will have tranquil, private rooftops and gardens.

https://www.facebook.com/MangroovyResidenceGouna/



The resort will cater to guests through a variety of amenities, where they’ll experience an unsurpassed level of service & excellence where everything matters. There will be a poolside restaurant, a café, a library, cigar lounge, spa, and gym; all designed around an idyllic pool terrace.

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New addition coming your way soon in Mangroovy, El-Gouna’s only beachfront residence; your yearlong destination.

]]>
4/24/2019 8:21:55 PM
<![CDATA[List of 16 ecotourism attractions in Egypt]]>
The students perceive tourism destinations in Egypt as having three shades: green, blue and yellow representing respectively landscapes, seas, and deserts and mountains.

There are 16 ecotourism attractions in Egypt identified in accordance with the criteria set by UNICEF and UNDP. The list was compiled from UNICEF, UNDP, scientific journals, research papers, online surveys, and interviews.

1- Farafra Oasis
2- Dakhla Oasis
3- kharga Oasis
4- Bahariya Oasis
5- Siwa Oasis
6- Dahab
7- Marsa Alam
8- Nuweiba
9- Taba
10- Ras Mohamed and Nabq in Sharm El Sheikh
11- Makadi, Safaga, Gouna and Al Qusayr in Hurghada
12- Nuba in Aswan
13- Tunis village in Fayoum
14- Wadi Degla and Sant Samaan monastery in Cairo
15- Menya
16- Halayeb and Shalatyn

The various activities that can be done by tourists in those destinations include hiking, snorkeling, diving, Safari, animals and birds watching, camping, photography, meditation and stargazing.

“Ecotourism is defined by the International Ecotourism Society as: “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” The key principles of ecotourism include minimizing impact, protecting biodiversity, building environmental awareness, and respecting local culture. Typically, the primary attractions for ecotourists are flora, fauna, and cultural heritage,” as indicated by Rainforest Alliance website.
]]>
4/24/2019 3:33:10 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir seeks to attain European accreditation certificate]]>
The deal is part of an EgyptAir strategy meant to expand services of affiliated companies, said board chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company Ahmed Adel in a statement Wednesday.

He added that it also aims to upgrade the quality of products and hone competitiveness on international and local markets.

Adel Mansour, board chairman of EgyptAir Supplementary Industries, said the agreement with the expert house has to do with the production of non-structural parts of aircraft cabins at the company's plastic factory.

This, he noted, should help increase revenues and profits, as well as the company's market share.

It is also hoped to enhance EgyptAir competitiveness on the international aviation market, Mansour added.]]>
4/24/2019 1:05:06 PM
<![CDATA[China to build moon station in 'about 10 years']]>
China aims to achieve space superpower status and took a major step towards that goal when it became the first nation to land a rover on the far side of the moon in January.

It now plans to build a scientific research station on the moon's south pole within the next 10 years, China National Space Administration head Zhang Kejian said during a speech marking "Space Day", the official Xinhua news agency reported.

He also added that Beijing plans to launch a Mars probe by 2020 and confirmed that a fourth lunar probe, the Chang'e-5, will be launched by the end of the year.

Originally scheduled to collect moon samples in the second half of 2017, the Chang'e-5 was delayed after its planned carrier, the powerful Long March 5 Y2 rocket, failed during a separate launch in July 2017.

China on Wednesday also announced its Long March-5B rocket will make its maiden flight in the first half of 2020, carrying the core parts of a planned space station.

The Tiangong -- or "Heavenly Palace" -- will go into orbit in 2022, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said.

It is set to replace the International Space Station -- a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan -- which is due to be retired in 2024.

Beijing last week also said it would launch an asteroid exploration mission and invited collaborators to place their experiments on the probe.

The current Chang'e-4 moon lander carried equipment from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

China now spends more on its civil and military space programmes than do Russia and Japan, and is second only to the United States. Although opaque, its 2017 budget was estimated at $8.4 billion by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.]]>
4/24/2019 12:13:13 PM
<![CDATA[NHL to purchase carbon offsets to counter playoff air travel]]>
For the first round of the playoffs, which has the highest number of teams traveling and is currently underway, the NHL will offset more than 465 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 99 cars off the road for one year.

The league will purchase the offsets from Portland, Oregon-based Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which operates offset projects that capture or cut greenhouse gases emitted from animal waste, landfills and fossil fuel use.

The announcement, which coincides with Earth Day, is part of the NHL’s efforts to address climate change.

Last season the NHL published its second Sustainability Report, which examined its commitment to ensure all levels of hockey — from the frozen ponds it was invented on to professional arenas — thrive for future generations.

The report estimated that in the coming decades the average length of the skating season may shrink by one third in eastern Canada and by 20 percent in western Canada.

In response the league has ramped up efforts at its arenas to cut carbon emissions, reduce waste and conserve water, among other initiatives.]]>
4/23/2019 12:12:41 PM
<![CDATA[250 archaeological missions from 25 countries work in Egypt: Antiquities min.]]>
During the inauguration of the fourth forum of archaeological missions in Egypt, the minister said some 250 missions from 25 countries, including 80 Egyptian ones, are working at many archaeological sites across the country.

The minister said the forum gives a chance for all missions to exchange expertise in the field of excavation, pointing out that a total of 23 researches had been exchanged.

Experts from France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Italy, the United States, Switzerland and other countries attended the forum.
]]>
4/22/2019 5:50:57 PM
<![CDATA[Sri Lanka's bomb carnage casts pall over tourism revival]]>
A tweet posted on the travel booking website First Choice captured the trepidation among holidaymakers, while some airlines and travel agents said they would waive cancellation charges for people scheduled to travel imminently.

“What are you doing about the holidays you have booked to that country?” tourist Judith Ann Clayton asked on the social media site.

“Clearly it is unsafe for anyone to go there.”

Others set to travel said they would not to be cowed into cancelling.

“Not giving in to terror. We want to support you in your time of need. Never gave any thought about cancelling our trip,” Facebook user John Karmouche said in a post.

Named by the Lonely Planet guide for independent travelers as the best country to visit in 2019, Sri Lanka had rebuilt its image as a tropical paradise after crushing a long-running separatist insurgency by ethnic minority Tamils a decade ago.

Arrivals of 2.3 million last year were up by more than 400 percent on 2009 levels, according Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority data.

But the suicide bombers who killed at least 290 people, including 32 foreigners, and wounded 500 have in all likelihood ended the boom in tourism for some time.

Denmark’s richest man, Anders Holch Povlsen, and his wife lost three of their four children in a blast at one of the hotels. A British mother and son were killed at a breakfast buffet and two Australians were also among the dead.

At Colombo airport, departing holidaymakers were relieved to be getting out.

“There have been a lot of messages from home,” said British teacher James Turner, who was leading a school cricket tour.

Tourists were also arriving but many said they would steer clear of the capital.

“We’re getting straight out of Colombo,” said Briton Ruth Adams, on holiday with her two children.

WARNINGS
Tourism was Sri Lanka’s third largest and fastest growing source of foreign currency, after private remittances and textile and garment exports, accounting for almost $4.4 billion or 4.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.

“The attacks will not only impact already weak economic activity (real GDP growth was at a 17-year low of 3.2 percent in 2018), but also the country’s relatively vulnerable external liquidity position,” Citi Asia Economics said in a note that warned the hardest blow would fall on tourism.

A U.S. State Department travel advisory warned of the danger of “terrorist groups” plotting more attacks. Targets could include tourist locations, transport hubs, shopping malls, hotels, places of worship and airports.

Other governments, including Japan and Australia, have also cautioned citizens planning travel to Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Australians “reconsider your need to travel and avoid all affected areas”.

JTB, Japan’s largest travel agency, has waived cancellation charges, and modified its package tours leaving Japan before May 10 to avoid risky locations, like Colombo, and will decide later on tours leaving after May 11, a spokeswoman said.

Two major airlines in neighboring India, state-owned Air India and the largest carrier Indigo, owned by Interglobe Aviation, said they would waive rescheduling and cancellation charges for travel scheduled before April 24.

India was the single largest source of visitors last year, with 425,000, while 266,000 came from China, Sri Lanka’s newfound friend, and more than 254,000 from old colonial power Britain.

The peak season for tourism in Sri Lanka is between December and March, while the rainy monsoon season lies between May and September.

MakeMyTrip.com, one of India’s largest travel booking portals, said in a statement that it was too early to quantify the impact of the attacks on tourist traffic to Sri Lanka, but anticipated that some would defer travel or go elsewhere.

There were no immediate cancellations on yatra.com, another Indian online booking portal, but new inquiries and bookings had slowed, said chief operating officer Sharat Dhall.

Visitors come for the glorious vistas across the forests in the national parks, the surf crashing on sandy beaches, verdant tea plantations, Buddhist temples and charming colonial towns.

The government’s latest tourism campaign celebrates the island’s charms with the simple slogan ‘So Sri Lanka’.

After Sunday’s outrage it could become a lament.]]>
4/21/2019 12:16:00 PM
<![CDATA[Dutch tulip forecast: brilliant, with a chance of tourists]]>
More than a million foreign sightseers are expected to visit this country of 17 million people on Easter weekend, a record, the Dutch Tourism Bureau said on Thursday.

Director Jos Vranken said he expects them to spend 300 million euros — a boon for the national economy. Many are attracted to the country’s museums and other cultural offerings, but in April, the flower fields and Keukenhof flower show in The Hague top many “must see” lists.

While flower lovers and the photographs they share on social media are free advertising for the country’s tourism, cut flower and bulb industries, it isn’t all a bed of roses.

“That has a downside,” Vranken said. “Farmers are having increasing damage to their fields from tourists taking photos.”

Foreign and Dutch tourists alike have learned to use “Flower Radar” websites to identify where fields are in bloom, especially in the main bulb-growing center known as the “Bollenstreek” along the coast between Haarlem and Leiden.

DO NOT TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS
Signs and barricades — now printed in Chinese and English — saying “Enjoy the Flowers, Respect Our Pride” have gone up at the edge of many fields.

They illustrate the concept that taking photos at the edge of a field is okay, but actually walking among the flowers to take pictures ruins them.

Meanwhile, farmers in less-promoted areas of the country sense an opportunity.

In Creil, northwest of Amsterdam, one enterprising group has set up a “Tulip Experience” complete with designated selfie area, hundreds of tulip varieties on display, helicopter tours, food and drinks, and bouncy castles for kids.
]]>
4/20/2019 5:31:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt tops list of hottest billionaires’ travel destinations in 2019]]>
To find out where the hottest countries are for elites in 2019, and where elites are spending their money this year, the two worked together and compared quantitative data, number of bookings, and qualitative data (performance), feedback, expertise and client inquiries.

Although some countries remained on the list, like France, Egypt became the number-one favourite for those willing to spend tens of thousands on their vacation.

According to Tom Barber, co-founder of Original Travel, there are two primary attractions fueling this trend. “The first is Steam Ship Sudan, a cruise that glides down the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, stopping at archaeological sites, temples, and tombs along the way,” wrote Business Insider.

Meanwhile, the second is the newly-built Grand Egyptian Museum. "The museum will house over 100,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, many of which have never previously been shown in public and includes King Tutankhamun's complete collection of over 50,000 artifacts," Barber told Business Insider, continuing, "Once complete, the museum will be the largest in the world devoted to a single civilization."

In second place came Japan, followed by Iceland in third place, Columbia in fourth place and Bhutan in fifth place.

Business Insider said in another report, “Like most travelers, billionaires visit Egypt to soak up its sights and history — but they do so while taking advantage of Egypt's plentiful luxury offerings, from fine dining restaurants in Cairo to beach resorts along the coast of the Red Sea.”


Egypt has also toped holiday destination on many news agencies in 2019. CNN Travel, the Independent, The Sun, and the Vancouver Sun have all published reports ranking Egypt as a top holiday destination during 2019.

CNN Travel

On January 4, 2019, CNN Travel published their annual list of top destinations for the year, placing Egypt in Second place, after Christchurch, New Zealand.

Despite the recent terrorist attack, CNN explains, 2019 will be different.

“So what's different in 2019?” writes CNN.

“Well, while the sand has been settling on deserted classic monuments, Egyptologists have been brushing it gently aside elsewhere to discover a litany of exciting finds, many of which are now being opened to the public,” answers CNN.

As for the safety concerns, CNN writes, “And while safety concerns persist, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings take place without incident each year. Likewise, Egypt's main Red Sea resorts are considered safe.”

Positively, CNN expects Egypt to receive many more tourists in the run up to its 2020 opening of its Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Independent

Cairo tops the British Independent’s top ten cities to visit in 2019.

Egypt has lots of treasures that are world admired such as the Greatest Egyptian Museum that cost $ one billion, pointed out the Independent.

The Journal further stated that the museum will attach the whole set of Tutankhauman Tomb for the first time.

Cairo is rich with the fabulous Nile cruises and incredible destinations that you have to see.

Matera, the Italian city, ranked second in Independent’s list, which described it as the capital of European culture.

Perth, the Australian city, ranked third, while Lyon, the French city, came in fourth and Chengdu, in China, came fifth.

The Sun

BRITS have shunned Benidorm in favour of alternative destinations such as … Egypt this year,” wrote British news site “The Sun” on January 4, 2019.

The Sun cites Hosbec’s statistics that show that hotels have seen an eight percent fall in British tourists. Instead of heading to Spain, more Brits are not heading towards Egypt and Turkey due to them being cheaper.

“Last year, around 319,000 British nationals visited Egypt,” writes The Sun.


Vancouver Sun

“King Tutankhamun’s complete museum collection — among 100,000 artifacts in total and some of which have never been seen in public — are housed in the newly opened, $1 billion Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) that overlooks the pyramids of Giza, in greater Cairo,” writes Canada’s Vancouver Sun.

Ranked third on its list, Egypt is actually number one, according to the news site, for tourists who are interested in art, history and ancient life.

“If art, history and the grand scope of ancient life is your balm, this is your happy place,” the news site writes in reference to Egypt.

“Egypt has had its share of travel warnings in the past since the Arab Spring of 2011, but like any metropolis, it is safe as long as you are aware and avoid areas that are off limits, such as the Sinai Peninsula, and don’t wander off into the desert unaccompanied. The GEM is the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization. King Tutankhamun’s sandals, more than 3,500 years old, have been restored using special processed developed specifically for this task.”

Egypt’s strategy to attract more tourists

In an interview with Manus Cranny and Tracy Alloway on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East” on November 8, Mashat revealed that Egypt has witnessed a “steep rebound” in the tourism industry, citing the significant increase in the influx of tourists.

Mashat spoke of tourism’s future, its prospects and the work that the government is doing to get the industry back on its feet. She also revealed, “At the end of this month in Parliament, I will be announcing E-Trip: Egypt Reform Program”

Shortly after, Mashat revealed the E-Trip at a Luncheon at the American Chamber of Commerce. The five-pillar strategy is designed to reform and regulate the industry, as well as to ensure its sustainability.

The five pillars start of at an area that has been criticized over and over again by Egyptians and experts, as well as the minister herself: Administrative and legislative reform. Earlier this year, while speaking to more than 10 experts about the problem in the industry, they had all agreed that there is a problem with professionalism and that most workers are not trained well enough to deal with tourists.

Chairman and CEO of Emeco Travel, former head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation and former Chairman of Tourism Chambers Elhamy El-Zayat explains that one of the top priorities in the tourism sector for the next period is training. El-Zayat adds that because there is no language-proficiency requirement for most hospitality-degree admissions, graduates are often left with poor English skills.

He adds that funds do exist to train people working in the sector, indicating that money for training has been allocated ever since former Minister of Tourism Fouad Sultan (1985-1993) was in office. To reach a higher level of service and communicate better with tourists, El-Zayat, Counsellor to the Minister of Tourism Walid El-Batouty and Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB) Hisham el-Demery all call for training.

“We need to make sure that people have a good time. Traveling is an experience. You have to make sure that when tourists come, they will find good English, service and information. It is the guide’s role to show the best of Egypt,” says El-Batouty. “Tour guides are in a great position to generate more business for themselves and for the country by showing the best of Egypt. A guide makes it or breaks it.”

In addition to language and technical abilities, Magdy Saleh, the head of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism in Hurghada says there’s a need to improve the organization of services offered to tourists. He explains, for instance, that the crowds of taxi drivers at Cairo International Airport’s arrival halls is a chaotic scene for someone stepping out of the airport to be greeted by flocks of drivers shouting randomly at him. “There is need for a policy to organise taxis at the airport better,” he adds. Similarly, Demery would love to see “a global awareness campaign on how to treat tourists.”

Consequently, the minister has taken a positive step forward and moved towards giving people vocational training, educating them to enable them to deal with tourists well, and teaching them proper etiquette for dealing with visitors. The ministry will look to hire more high-quality professionals who are able to manage work. Moreover, vocational training will be given to those who work in the industry.

The second pillar is one that has also been on the forefront of people’s minds over the past two years: Rebranding Egypt. All experts unanimously said that there is an urgent need to maximise the types of tourism programs for an uptick in tourist inflows to occur. “We need to introduce new types of tourism including medical, the Holy Family and MICE [meeting, incentive, conference and events],” Demery told us.

Similarly, Saleh calls for an increase in religious events and festivals to attract tourists. “We have forgotten that Egypt is the land of religions,” he says. “Between Mount Moses, the Holy Family tour, and many other heavenly locations in Egypt, Egypt has the potential to rebrand itself from being [solely] a beach-and-monument destination.”

Batouty explains that we need new ideas, and we need to be updated to revive the tourism sectors, citing two new initiatives that have attracted many guests so far. Run by Art D’Egypte’s founder Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, the first initiative is “Eternal Light. Something Old, Something New,” which took place at the Egyptian Museum, and managed to gain much interest. The exhibition displayed 16 artworks of Egypt’s most prominent contemporary artists, creating a wonderful contrast against the timeless backdrop of artefacts in the museum. Displayed pieces were influenced by ancient Egypt’s art and artists, like Mohamed Abla.

Through social media platforms and social media influencers and bloggers, international tourism campaigns and travel Expos, the tourism is working to rebrand the tourism industry in Egypt as a “responsible choice for eco-friendly tourists” and one that “economically empowers women,” revealed the Tourism Minister.

The third pillar is concerned with fining new markets and diversifying the base from which tourists come to visit Egypt, in addition to beefing up cooperations, focused on tourism, with countries that are considered well-established markets.

The fourth pillar concerns upgrading the hospitability infrastructure. To do so, the Tourism Ministry has decided to launch a private equity find. This fund will also be used to upgrade hotels and resorts that have gone out of style or need to be revamped; an issue that experts we spoke to also brought up.

Concerning this pillar, experts had previously told us that to ensure that the sector keeps growing and accommodate the expected increase in tourist inflows, El-Zayat believes that investors should be allowed to take loans from Egyptian banks. The fact that the door was shut in recent years, he explains, led many investors to downsize their businesses, leaving many unemployed. To maintain the growing tourism sector, investors should be able to rely on banks when needed, El-Zayat suggests.

Calls of increased high-quality investments also came from El-Batouty, who indicates that good investments always make money for Egypt, as well as for the investor. El-Batouty gave Cosmos, an Egypt-based travel company that partners with Viking USA, as a successful model that played a role in tourists’ return to Egypt by providing high-quality services, portraying a positive image of tourism in Egypt.

The fifth, and final pillar, concerns an upgrade to the legislative framework that governs the industry as of right now. This is something that has been on Mashat’s mind for a while: During her first meeting with investors in the tourism sector, Rania El-Mashat, the new minister of tourism, has indicated that she is set on building a newer administrative framework for the sector to allow processes to go smoother and quicker. El-Mashat said that she intends to build a system that would move the sector forward, leading it to be a case study for the international community to take lessons from.

Building on this, Demery told us that there are many great ideas and that people are energetic and enthusiastic to implement them, but to do that, bureaucracy needs to be addressed and the processes need to be upgraded. To keep up with the digital world today, one needs to take actions quicker and keep up with trends, he says, and so we need to be constantly updating our systems to keep up with international trends and needs.

Having spoken to sources who called the industry highly bureaucratic, advising that less bureaucracy would help the industry flourish, it sure is a relief to see the fifth pillar of the strategic plan aim to remove bureaucracy and better the legislative framework. The new framework will be an update to a framework that has not been updated in about 40 years, and will see the ministry itself propose ideas for legislative changes.
]]>
4/19/2019 2:29:17 PM
<![CDATA[Air Canada pilots reviewing aircraft systems on Boeing's MAX jets]]>
On Wednesday, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau called for pilots to receive simulator training for Boeing’s new 737 MAX software, going beyond a draft report by a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration-appointed board, which recommended additional training without requiring a simulator.

Boeing is working to deliver to global regulators a software update and new training proposals for the MAX following a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October and an Ethiopian crash in March, which killed 346 people combined.

Boeing said on Wednesday it was making “steady progress” on the path to certifying the software update and had made the final test flight before a certification flight.

Air Canada said it was the only carrier in the United States and Canada with 737 MAX simulators. The country’s largest carrier said it was pleased to see the Canadian government take a “rigorous approach” in how it weighs its requirements for reintroducing the jets into service.

Air Canada’s rival, Westjet Airlines, declined to specifically address Garneau’s comments, but the carrier follows all Transport Canada recommendations, a company spokeswoman said by email.]]>
4/19/2019 1:22:38 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir receives second Boeing Dreamliner B787-9 model]]>
The ceremony was organized by Boeing, one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers, in Seattle and was attended by the media advisor to the minister of viation and marketing director of EgyptAir Dina al-Fouly in addition to several senior officials and the accompanying media delegation.

Boeing announced that is looking forward to more effective cooperation with EgyptAir which is considered one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the region, stressing that EgyptAir is one of Boeing's most important customers.

On March 28, the Cairo International Airport received its first Dreamliner aircraft and in April it took off on its first flight to Kuwait.

EgyptAir announced earlier that from July 2019 to May 2020, it will receive 12 Airbus 220/300 aircrafts, which were produced by Bombardier of Canada before being acquired by Airbus.
]]>
4/18/2019 2:17:15 PM
<![CDATA[German, British tourist delegations tours Minya's archaeological sites]]>
The delegations visited the governorate's archaeological landmarks to get acquainted with the ancient Egyptian civilization, Hussein noted.

He underlined that the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya has many tourist attractions, hailing the efforts of the security bodies in maintaining stability.]]>
4/16/2019 11:44:05 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir seeks to expand airlines in Africa]]>
This came during a meeting of the African Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives headed by MP Tareq Radwan.

Aref added that EgyptAir reaches 30 African cities, adding that EgyptAir will reach the commercial capital of Cameroon by summer 2019.

Most of the lines operated by EgyptAir towards Africa are political lines," he said, referring that EgyptAir does not get an economic return and does not receive any financial support from the government in exchange for losses.

Aref also said that EgyptAir has operated a line to Asmara, capital of Eritrea, for years and will start operating the Djibouti line next winter.

]]>
4/14/2019 3:27:01 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo-Khartoum flights resume after two-day hiatus]]>
EgyptAir flight no. 857 left Cairo on Saturday, heading to Khartoum International Airport with 140 passengers on board, said sources at Cairo airport.

The Egyptian flagship carrier will operate two more flights to Sudan today, the sources said, adding that the company operates three flights every day to Sudan.]]>
4/13/2019 2:39:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Tourism Promotion Authority participates in China's COTTM]]>
The authority's participation falls within the framework of the Tourism Ministry's plan to boost tourism, especially in promising markets like China.

The authority's head Ahmed Youssef underlined the importance of participating in the three-day exhibition in which about 70 countries will take part.

About 450 exhibitors and 4000 Chinese companies will partake in the event.

About 12 Egyptian hotels and travel agencies will take part in the exhibition alongside EgyptAir.]]>
4/10/2019 12:47:38 PM
<![CDATA[Local Development Min.to develop 5 sites on Holy Family path]]>
The five archeological sites include the Church of Abu Sarja in Masr Al Qadima, the Church of the Virgin in Maadi, the Paromeos Monastery, the Monastery of El Suryan and the Monastery of Bishop Bishoy.

Egypt Today presents the most important information provided by the Ministry of Local Development on reviving the monuments of the Flight of the Holy Family:

1 - Developing five archaeological sites in Cairo and Wadi El Natrun.
2 - The first stage includes monasteries in Minya and Assiut and will last from sixmonths to a year and a half.
3 - The second stage includes the rest of the governorates of the Holy Family path, such as Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia and Gharbia governorates.
4 - Developing the area of ancient Egypt and turning the largest garbage dump in West Cairo into an open garden.
5 - Developingthe Church of Maadi and its surrounding area andestablishing a tourist berth for the church at a cost of LE 6 million.
6. Paving and widening the road leading to the three monasteries in Beheira governorate at a cost of LE 3.4 million.
8 - Planting 250 palm trees in Beheira governorate in cooperation with the University of Damanhour.
9 - Designing three camps in the old Coptic style as a rest for tourists on the road leading to the three monasteries.

The aim of the renovation works is to encourage religious tourism in Egypt, taking advantage of the amazing and unique monuments Egypt possesses and creating an educational, touristic experience for the visitors.

The Holy Family came to Egypt, traveling for about three-and-a-half years across the country. What we have done is-and this project is not recent as we started it about two or three years ago- we picked eight locations in four cities and we prepared their infrastructure to receive tourists,” Hesham el-Demery, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board told Egypt Today in April. 



To promote the tour, in collaboration with Egyptian authorities, Pope Francis visited Egypt in April of 2017, carried out a mass and acknowledged the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt as an official Christian pilgrimage. This announcement puts the Holy Family tour on equal footing with Fatima in Portugal, suggesting that thousands of Christian tourists would visit Egypt.

The Egyptian government declared in April 2017 that the Tourism Ministry has devised a program to encourage tourists to visit the country to watch a unique artistic rendition of the religious story and to trace the journey’s trail that covers many Egyptian cities after Virgin Mary, Jesus and Joseph had fled King Herod’s persecution in Palestine.]]>
4/9/2019 12:59:49 PM
<![CDATA[Google invites Mashat to join leading women campaign in Arab region]]>
The meeting between the two sides came after at the end of Mashat’s participation at the World Economic Forum for the Middle East and North Africa held from April 6-7 in Jordan.

Mashat also discussed with Edde ways of cooperation between the two sides. The minister said that the Ministry of Tourism is currently updating its promotion tools through social media platforms.

For his part, Edde suggested that the company would develop promotional contents for Egyptian tourist attractions especially the unfamiliar places, noting that these modern contents focus on sharing not only photos but also stories about destinations which attract tourists worldwide.

The US-based firm submitted a suggestion to develop interactive apps about the Egyptian museums, expressing its readiness for offering training courses for the tourism sector's staff in line with the ministry's training plan.

Mashat cited holding the first national competition for start-ups to choose projects and apps from which the sector can benefit. She also reviewed the three axes of the ministry's promotion campaign.

]]>
4/8/2019 1:35:28 PM
<![CDATA[‘Renga cake’, latest Egyptian invention ahead of Sham El-Nessim]]>Renga (herring) and Feseekh (fermented fish) cakes appeared on social media platforms in different colors and shapes, while people’s reactions over this extraordinary dessert-is differed. As how could a fermented, salted and dried fish be turned into cake?!

Renga is a perennial Sham El-Nessim’s favorite. Garlic and herbs in this recipe bring out the flavor of the fish. Serve with piping hot baladi bread, spring onions and lemon wedges.

2

Every year doctors and nutritionists plead with the public not to eat fiseekh (salted fish)—but to no avail.

Fiseekh has been a Sham El-Nessim tradition for many decades, and Egyptians are not going to start giving up their salty favorite anytime soon. With that said, numerous cases of food poisoning get reported each year, so to avoid getting sick at least make sure you have your bases covered. Buy your fiseekh from someone credible. Go to an established fasakhany and never, ever, buy off a street seller.

Sham El-Nessim is an old spring festival celebrated by Egyptians since 2,700 BC (the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom).

This festival does not have any religious background. Sham El-Nessim is usually a national holiday, marking the beginning of spring and coming after Easter.

The festival is related to the agricultural background of ancient Egyptians. The name Sham El-Nessim or (inhaling the breeze) is derived from the Coptic language, which borrowed some of its words from the ancient Egyptian language. The original pronunciation is Tshom Ni Tshom, which means garden meadows.

In ancient times, Egyptians celebrated the holiday at the spring equinox, the date of which could be determined by looking at the direction of the sunlight at sunrise over the pyramids. When Egypt was a Christian country under the rule of the Roman Empire, Sham El-Nessim joined the Christian Easter celebrations. However, when it became an Arab country, Sham El-Nessim stayed on its Easter date and has been scheduled like most Muslim festivals celebrated every year.

On the day, Egyptians head out to parks, gardens and zoos with their families to enjoy their traditional meals of salted fish, onions and eggs. They also enjoy celebrating Easter and Sham El- Nessim in different places in Cairo and other places all over Egypt.

1

3
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4/6/2019 1:55:52 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism revenues rise by 36.7% in 1st half of 2019: CBE’s report]]>
According to a report released by the World Tourism and Travel Council in March, tourism in Egypt has witnessed remarkable recovery over the past year. The report expected that the number of tourists coming to Egypt during the current year will be 11.7 million tourists.

In March 2019, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli said in the Regional Forum for Technological Innovation in Tourism that the tourism sector’s indicators confirm the sector is taking steady steps on the right track and is gaining the confidence of tourists.

Madbouli also praised the role of the World Tourism Organization in supporting tourism in Arab countries.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s 2018 release on global travel and tourism, Egypt welcomed about 8.5 million tourists during 2017 with an increase of 55.1 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Luxor and Giza were among Egypt’s most famous and well-known cities, according to the report. France was the highest voted country for tourists in 2017.

In August, a government official told Reuters that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to amount to $4.8 billion, compared to the same period of the previous year.
]]>
4/5/2019 10:36:00 AM
<![CDATA[‘Beautiful in my eyes', governmental campaign to boost tourism in Egypt]]>
This is not the first campaign launched by the government to boost Egyptian tourism.

"This is Egypt” was another promotional campaign for Egyptian tourism development. It was launched in October 2016 through cooperation between the Egyptian Tourism Authority and international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT) in an attempt to revive tourism in Egypt after the devastating effect of the 2011 revolution.


]]>
4/5/2019 10:33:45 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt receives World Travel & Tourism Council's Champion Award ]]>
This came during the 2019 Global Summit held in Seville, Spain between April 2 and 4. This annual award is granted as an appreciation of the efforts exerted by some countries in facing challenges, the WTTC said, adding that this is the first time for a country or a minister in the Middle East to be granted such award.

In a report, the WTTC said that the tourism sector in Egypt under Mashat managed to recover, as in 2018, the number of tourists has increased by 16.5 percent, which is higher than the global average of (3.9 percent).

This recovery comes as a result of the state's efforts to improve the local security situation, which helped attract tourists and big tourism companies to the prominent tourist attractions in Egypt, and increase their business in new tourist developments on the coasts of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

For her part, the Egyptian minister said that the ministry is adopting a new trend, adding that it has launched a structural reform program to modernize the tourism sector and achieve sustainable tourism development.

She added that the implementation of such structural reforms aims at boosting the competitiveness capacity of the sector, and turning the challenges it sometimes faces into opportunities the country can benefit from in making the sector more robust and resistant to shocks.

Mashat expressed appreciation of the Global Champion Award granted by the WTTC, adding that the main goal of the ministry is to enable at least one member of each Egyptian family to work in the sector, in a direct or indirect way.

The minister stressed the support of Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for the structural reform program launched by the ministry, pointing out that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently granted the Egyptian leader the organization's shield in appreciation of his active role in supporting the tourism industry.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO World Travel and Tourism Council, said that Mashat and Egypt "have shown what it means to truly prioritize the recovery of travel & tourism following a period of crisis. She has recognized the power of our sector as a driver of economic growth, job creation and social advancement across the whole country,” the WTTC reported.
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4/4/2019 2:08:35 PM
<![CDATA[Discovery Channel to air opening of Egyptian sarcophagus on April 8]]>
Information about the original location where the sarcophagus was discovered was not provided.

Discovery Channel will air a two-hour episode from a "less-visited part of the country".Renowned U.S. TV presenter Gates said that the sarcophagus contains the bodies of some higher-class ancient Egyptians. He added: "We know that there are a lot of mummies that are down there."

"Egypt will reveal its secrets, live. Join me, Josh Gates, for an Egyptian adventure, like nothing you've ever seen before. Explore 3,000 year old tomb, and uncover ancient mysteries buried in the sands," Gates said in a teaser, commenting on the planned episode.

According to The Independent, the site where the channel will be filming its episode will be overseen by MostafaWaziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

In October 2018, Discovery Channel told Khaled al-Anani, Egypt's minister of antiquities, that the channel is ready to provide human expertise and international techniques in filming to make documentaries and take photographs of the archaeological discoveries in Egypt, according to reports.

Recently, an Egyptian archaeological mission uncovered a limestone sarcophagus containing two mummies during excavation works in Quweisna quarries, Menoufiya governorate.

Waziri stressed that the newly discovered sarcophagus was found in a good condition. Three broken statuettes of three of the four sons of the God Horus were also uncovered. ]]>
4/4/2019 11:55:55 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to participate in WTTC Global Summit 2019 in Madrid]]>
Mashaat is scheduled to deliver a speech during a "Global Leaders Dialogue" session as part of the event.

Egypt's participation in such international gatherings is part of a Tourism Ministry plan to upgrade the travel sector, Mashaat said.

Prominent figures of the travel industry will take part in the summit, the minister said, adding it will be a good chance to meet with decision makers in the field of tourism. ]]>
4/1/2019 2:01:09 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir received B787-9 Dreamliner on Mar. 28]]>
Minister of Civil Aviation Younes Hamed expressed his happiness for the delivery of EgyptAir’s first Dreamliner, saying “This is an achievement for the Egyptian Civil Aviation personnel, who are willing to accomplish more success and progress.”

“I am pleased to witness this moment when EGYPTAIR is regaining its leading role in the region, bringing innovation, comfort, and style to its customers,” Hamed further elaborated.

Chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Holding Ahmed Adel took a brief tour aboard the new aircraft to make sure its specifications and features will meet the expectations of EgyptAir's customers.

“We are delighted to welcome the first B787-9 Dreamliner to our fleet. We have accomplished a big part of our development strategy set under the umbrella of Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, and we are seeking the best. Today’s delivery marks a new chapter for EgyptAir and Egypt’s Civil Aviation Sector,” Hamed stated.

Hamed added that EgyptAir’s 787 Dreamliner, one of the most technologically advanced aircrafts, is the perfect platform for EgyptAir's transformation to a global network carrier. The national air carrier pursues upgrading its fleet. EgyptAir announced adding 33 aircrafts to its fleet by the end of 2020; six B787-9 Dreamliners, twelve A220-300 aircrafts, and fifteen A320neo aircrafts.

He referred that upgrading the fleet coincides with unveiling the new cabin-crew uniform.
“We invite our loyal customers to come on-board and enjoy the experience of flying on B787-900,” Hamed concluded.

Meanwhile, Chairman and CEO of EGYPTAIR Airlines Ashraf el-Kholy said, “Adding the Boeing 787 Dreamliners to our fleet gives us a more efficient fleet and further upgrades our service quality. In addition, it gives our passengers the comfort and convenience of the Boeing Dreamliner’s advanced aviation technologies. We exerted great efforts to enhance our cabin service."

“We are making these investments to give our passengers better flying experiences and further demonstrate our dedication to providing a five-star airline service,” Kholy said.
The Boeing 787-9s will be set for 309 passengers: 30 in the Business Class and 279 in Economy supplied with all means of luxury and comfort.

EgyptAir’s second Dreamliner is expected to be delivered in April 2019 and will be used to extend the airplane’s operations to several long-range routes in EgyptAir network.
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3/31/2019 5:06:03 PM
<![CDATA[Hurghada among top romantic destinations globally ]]>
“Scuba dive together to see the world-renowned coral reef, relax on white-sand beaches or explore the vibrant town,” were the words used by the British publication to describe the activities that can be assumed by tourists in the Egyptian city bordering the Red Sea.

According to ABTA, a commercial body, British tourists' bookings to Egypt rose by 39 percent as Britons look for affordable beaches without the worry of cancellation due to Brexit.

According to a statement issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in January 2019, Russian and British tourists capture the largest portion of tourist inflows to Egypt.

"Egypt's tourism sector’s rate of growth has rapidly increased, recording 16.5 percent, which exceeds the international average rate," Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat previously stated.

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3/27/2019 5:10:30 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism sector's indicators confirm we are on right track: PM]]>
Madbouli also praised the role of the World Tourism Organization in supporting tourism in Arab countries.

During his speech, Madbouli said that the program of structural reform to support the tourism sector aims to develop the sector in Egypt, adding that the tourism sector is one of the sectors supporting the Egyptian economy.

Madbouli pointed out that all state agencies cooperate to provide tourism services to tourists in Egypt, stressing the importance attached by the political leadership to the tourism sector.

Madboulireferred that the Grand Egyptian Museum will be one of the largest museums in the world, stressing that the Egyptian state supports partnership with international institutions.

The prime minister also received Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization ZurabPolokolakashvili in the presence of Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat on the sidelines of the forum.

During the meeting, Polokolakashviliexpressed his pleasure to participate in the meetings of the Regional Committee for the Middle East and the Forum on Technological Innovation in Tourism.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s 2018 release on global travel and tourism, Egypt welcomed about 8.5 million tourists during 2017 with an increase of 55.1 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Luxor and Giza were among Egypt’s most famous and well-known cities, according to the report. France, however, was the highest voted country for tourists in 2017.

In August, a government official told Reuters that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to amount to $4.8 billion, compared to the same period of the previous year.
]]>
3/26/2019 10:55:07 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi asserts Egypt's keenness on promoting cooperation with UNWTO]]>
During a meeting with the organization's Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, President Sisi said Egypt is keen on diversifying and making best use of its tourist attractions including conferences tourism through hosting several international functions in all fields recently, Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said.

Pololikashvili presented the Egyptian leader with the organization's shield in appreciation of his active role in supporting the tourism industry through launching the structural reform program to develop the tourism sector in Egypt, he said.

President Sisi welcomed Pololikashvili's visit and noted Egypt's efforts to upgrade tourism through institutional reform at the level of all sectors including training of tourism workers.

During the meeting, attended by Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat, the two sides probed ways to boost Egypt's efforts in supporting young investors and entrepreneurship in the tourism field. They also reviewed the latest tourist projects in Egypt, especially in the new urban communities and the Grand Egyptian Museum, he added.]]>
3/25/2019 8:01:28 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's tourism sector fastest-growing in North Africa]]>
Egypt's tourism sector is the fastest-growing in North Africa. The sector's growth rate hit 16.5 percent, which is quadruple the international average rate (3.9 percent), according to The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

Mashat aims to employ at least one citizen in each family in tourism to end unemployment.

WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara hailed Egypt’s quick recovery in tourism and highlighted the sector’s significance in economic growth and job creation.

Tourism in Egypt is responsible for providing 2.5 million jobs, equivalent to 9.5 percent of the total number of jobs in Egypt, as per to WTTC.

Tourism contributed 11.9 percent of Egypt’s GDP last year, and the sector’s contribution to the GDP is expected to further increase in 2019.

The WTTC further hailed the role played by the Egyptian Tourism Ministry in making tourism a priority sector and lauded its strategy to increase citizen awareness regarding the importance of the tourism sector.

WTTC published a report pointing out that the Egyptian government’s efforts to improve security helped increase tourism by 16.5 percent, the best since 2010.

It added that efforts in the security sector helped attract tourists and big tourism companies to Egypt’s famous tourist destinations such as Sharm El-Sheikh.

The WTTC represents the international private sector for tourism and travel; it has been conducting research for more than 25 years.

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3/25/2019 11:28:42 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt launches 1st cruise journey with Sudan]]>
Moustafa Amer, Deputy Chairman of the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation, said the ship headed from Lake Nasser to Wadi Halfa in Sudan. ]]>
3/24/2019 11:18:12 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt launches short film competition promoting tourism during 2019 CAN]]>
The contest will screen movies that feature the country’s touristic sites.

Egypt Today provides below all information about the competition:

- The films that enter the competition should aim to show the positive aspects and cultural images of the capital.
- The winning films will be screened in main streets and squares through large display screens.
- The total prizes of the competition are worth L.E. 45, 000 ($2,609.)
- The submissions will be evaluated by a jury of professors of the Faculty of Applied Arts and Academy of Arts of the Higher Institute of Folk Arts.
- The films presented will be in high-quality HD, taking into account the clarity of the sound; besides, all the scenes are original and never published before on the Internet.

In January 2019, The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of nations.

The 2019 African Cup of nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

Egypt hosted four African Cup of nation tournaments in 1957, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.]]>
3/23/2019 2:50:05 PM
<![CDATA[India bursts with color in celebration of Holi]]>
For many, the festival, also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love,” which began on Wednesday, is a time to laugh, forgive and mend broken relationships.

During the festival, participants sing and dance and shower each other with flower petals and brightly colored powders of pink, yellow, blue and green.

Smiling college students smear their faces with green, yellow and red powder, some in a trance-like state under a cloud of pink.

Inside their temples, priests spray pink and gold colors at hundreds of Hindu devotees with their arms raised in prayer as they sing religious hymns.

]]>
3/22/2019 11:41:04 AM
<![CDATA[Robots compete with child jockeys in Egyptian camel races]]>
Organizers fielded around 20 robots - child-sized devices with a whipping arm that can be triggered at a distance - alongside dozens of real children as part of a trial run.

"God willing, in a year, there will be no human jockeys, except for some adults for the sake of tradition," said Eid Hamdan Hassan, head of the Egyptian Camel Federation, which organized the festival in the Sarabium desert of Ismailia.

Several Gulf countries have banned child jockeys from the traditional Bedouin sport after rights groups said the youngsters were often injured and some had been abducted or sold by their families.

Owners at last week's Egyptian event said the bans had prevented them from fielding teams in Gulf festivals - and they hoped the move to robots would help them get in.

Esam el-Din Atiyah, president of the African Camel Racing Federation, which includes Egypt, acknowledged that child riders were sometimes injured. "Human rights organizations have said that this is child exploitation," he said.

He personally wanted Egypt to move to robot-only events, but the transition was costly and would take time, he added.

Young jockeys at the event - local children mostly aged 6-13 - defended the tradition and their participation.

Sayed Mohamed, 11, said children were better than robots at steering.

"The camel might lean sideways. We (the children) are better at riding leaning camels so that we can straighten its route.

"The robot works well with camels that don't tend to lean."

Around 150 camels competed in eight categories over distances from five to 15 km, cheered on by more than 1,000 spectators.

Local tribes prepare their best camels with a special diet of beans, barley, date paste and milk.

Victory raises a camel's value. "When a camel wins, you sell it for a good price - from 150,000 to 200,000 Egyptian pounds($8,700-$11,600)," said camel owner Mohamed Mostafa. "The camel that doesn't win is sold for only 10,000."]]>
3/20/2019 9:24:37 AM
<![CDATA[Indian diplomat asserts importance of boosting tourist cooperation with Egypt]]>
This came in Bahade's word during the inauguration of a tourism promotion seminar on Sunday under the rubric "know India" which is organized by the Indian Embassy in Egypt in cooperation with the Indian Tourism Office in Dubai.

Representatives of travel agencies and tourist operators from India and Egypt along with officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism attended the seminar which addressed cooperation opportunities.

India and Egypt boast great ancient civilizations and their great variety of tourist attractions and magnificent historical landmarks are a magnet to tourists from all over the world, Bahade said.

Meanwhile, tourism minister's adviser Nora Salem said that the Ministry of Tourism is proud of the strong ties with India.
]]>
3/18/2019 3:53:55 PM
<![CDATA[Top 10 tourist attractions in Aswan]]>CAIRO – 16 March 2019: As Upper Egypt’s city of Aswan is hosting the Arab African Youth Forum; Egypt Today brings you Aswan’s top tourist attractions and landmarks.



1- The Unfinished obelisk:


Located in Sheyakhah Oula, in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan, the unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk. Its construction was ordered by Hatshepsut, the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically-confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu.


The unfinished obelisk is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,090 metric tons (1,200 tons), a weight equal to about 200 African elephants.





2- The Nubian Museum:


Inaugurated in 1997, the International Museum of Nubia, was dedicated to Nubian culture and civilization. It was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001, which is an architectural prize established by Aga Khan IV in 1977.


The building has three floors for displaying and housing, in addition to a library and information center. The largest part of the museum is occupied by the monumental pieces, reflecting phases of the development of Nubian culture and civilization.





3- Elephantine


Elephantine is an island on the Nile, forming part of the city of Aswan. There are several archaeological sites on the island.


The island is located just downstream of the First Cataract, at the southern border of Upper Egypt with Lower Nubia. This region above is referred to as Upper Egypt because it is further up the Nile.


The island may have received its name after its shape, which in aerial views is similar to that of an elephant tusk, or from the rounded rocks along the banks resembling elephants.


Elephantine was a fort that stood just before the first cataract of the Nile. During the Second Intermediate Period (1650–1550 BC), the fort marked the southern border of Egypt, according to Ian Shaw in Oxford History of Ancient Egypt.





4- El Nabatat Island


Geziret En Nabatat (Plant Island) or the Botanical Island is a small, oval-shaped island in the Nile at Aswan, it was previously known as Kitchener's Island, named after Lord Kitchener who owned it as he was gifted the island, when he served as Consul-General in Egypt.


The island and gardens can be reached by felucca, a traditional wooden sailing boat, that reach the Southeastern side of the small island.


]


5- Mausoleum of Aga Khan


The Mausoleum of Aga Khan is the mausoleum of Aga Khan III, Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, who died in 1957. The mausoleum is located at Aswan, along the Nile of Egypt, since Egypt was formerly the centre of power of the Fatimids. The mausoleum is built in the style of the Fatimid tombs in Cairo.


[Photo: Mausoleum of Aga Khan]


6- Philae


Philae is an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt. Philae was originally located near the expansive First Cataract of the Nile in Upper Egypt and was the site of an Egyptian temple complex.


The ancient Egyptian name of the smaller island meant "boundary". As their southern frontier, the pharaohs of Egypt kept there a strong garrison, and it was also a barracks for Greek and Roman soldiers in their turn. The first temple structure, which was built by native pharaohs of the 30th dynasty, was the one for Hathor, a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion.





7- Agilkia Island


An island in the reservoir of the Old Aswan Dam along the Nile River in southern Egypt; it is the present site of the relocated Ancient Egyptian temple complex of Philae. Agilkia, like the island, was the name chosen for the planned landing site on a comet by the Rosetta spacecraft mission's Philae lander.





8- El-Tabia Mosque


El-Tabia Mosque is a mosque in Aswan, Egypt. The mosque is surrounded by scenic gardens. Located amidst a park on a hill in the center of Aswan, It reveals a typical architecture of central-dome mosques having an arched entrance, flanked in this case by two minarets, and the prayer hall beneath a central dome.





9- Kom Ombo Temple


The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple in the town of Kom Ombo in Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt. It was constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180–47 BC. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period.





10- Aswan Museum


Aswan Museum is a museum in Elephantine, located on the south-eastern side of Aswan, Egypt. It opened to the public in 1912. The museum features artefacts from Nubia, which were housed there during the construction of the Aswan Dam. In 1990, a new department was inaugurated displaying findings that were discovered on Elephantine island itself, such as utensils, weapons, pottery and mummies. The museum is situated close to the Ruins of Abu, where excavations are still taking place.



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3/17/2019 11:48:30 AM
<![CDATA[Aswan’s sites to be opened for free for AAYP guests]]>
Saeed added that Philae, Abu Simbel, Edfu, Kom Ombo temples will be all ready for the platform guests.

The first edition of the Arab and African Youth Platform having as participants 1,500 youths will kick off on Saturday in Aswan under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and will conclude on Monday.

President Sisi dubbed Aswan the capital of African youth in the closing session of the second edition of the World Youth Forum that took place in Sharm El Sheikh in November where he announced the launch of the current event.

The first event on the agenda is a ceremony celebrating Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union (AU) as the status of the country in the Arab World and the African continent will be highlighted as a meeting point of both civilizations and a vital strategic base for their partnership.

The ceremony will include an artistic session reflecting the Arab and African civilizations combined, and speeches by a number of African figures on their aspirations in respect to Egypt’s chairmanship of the AU.

The agenda includes panel and roundtable discussions on Arab and African challenges having as participants youth leaders and decision makers. That is in addition to a number of cultural and entertainment activities. ]]>
3/16/2019 4:08:40 PM
<![CDATA[Direct flights from Italy to Marsa Alam operate in April]]>
Twenty-two flights will operate weakly from Italy to Egypt by this summer, increasing the number of Italian tourists to surpass the number of German inbound tourists to Egypt.

Travco Group, one of the biggest Egyptian travel companies, said in November 2018, that hotel bookings are rising as tourists return to the country after years of political turmoil and security concerns.

Tourism is a cornerstone of Egypt’s economy, a source of income for millions of citizens and a major source of foreign exchange. But the sector suffered severely in the years following 2011’s popular uprising and was further hampered by a spate of militant attacks which targeted visitors.

Egypt’s revenues from tourism jumped 77 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2018 to $4.8 billion, while the number of tourists arriving in the country increased by 41 percent to just over 5 million.

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3/15/2019 3:27:32 PM
<![CDATA[600 female students participate in marathon on International Women's Day]]>
Ahead of the marathon, the governor underlined the importance of women's contribution to social development.

On March 8, the Cairo International Airport received female Arab and foreign travelers with packs of roses and chocolate with a slogan that says “Tâ' MarbûTa ( a character that comes at the end of a word to express femininity) is the secret of your strength”.

In January 2019, the 26th edition of the International Egyptian Marathon kicked off at Luxor city with the participation of over 200 runners from 38 countries. The event, organized under the auspices and sponsorship of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Tourism, is deemed one of the most renowned sports activities across the Middle East.

“Around 200 Arab and foreign runners from five continents are taking part in the 26th edition of the marathon; we also dedicated an event for people with special needs, who were honored by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi,” race director, Gasser Riad, said.

“The significant cooperation between government authorities contributed to the success of the marathon,” Riad stressed.

In 2018, the marathon received prominent sports figures, including French runner Alan Mimoum, winner of the 1956 Olympic Gold Medal; German runner Ceirpinski, winner of the 1976 1980 Olympic Gold Medal; German runner Roland Winkler, winner of the 1970 & 1972 championship; Italian runner Gelindo Bordin, winner of the Olympic Gold Medal; and Japanese renowned runner Nakayama.

The idea behind the 100 Km Pharaonic Race, one of the marathon’s activities, came from a 1977 discovery by Egyptian Egyptologist Ahmed Moussa who while digging discovered a piece of rock telling the story of Pharaoh soldiers running a 100-Kilometer race.]]>
3/13/2019 2:56:59 PM
<![CDATA[Berlin Tourism Expo draws 160,000 visitors]]>
A statement by Berlin exhibitions authority said the increase in the number of visitors testifies to the importance and stability of the global tourism industry.

Despite the ups and downs in global economy, the global growth rate of tourism remained stable, it said.

The international travel trade show ITB Berlin is the world's largest tourism trade fair. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies.

The ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin. ]]>
3/11/2019 1:24:25 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir offers free trip on Mother’s Day ]]>
Mothers are invited to post their pictures including the company’s logo “Horus” [Sky deity in ancient Egyptian mythology] or pictures depicting the company in any way using the hashtag #airtimewith mymum. The picture to attract the highest interactions on social media will win a three-day travel free of charge to any touristic city in Egypt, including tickets and accommodation.

The airliner set conditions and regulations for the context posted on their official pages on Facebook and Instagram.



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3/11/2019 11:50:49 AM
<![CDATA[British tourists' bookings to Egypt rose by 39 percent: ABTA]]>
The Financial Times reported on Friday that the impact of Brexit or the UK's exit from the EU has been overshadowed by the traditional side of British tourists in recent weeks.

Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, agreed that Brexit is deterring Britons from holidaying abroad, adding that some countries have benefited from this influence such as Egypt, Spain, the southeastern Mediterranean, Poland and Bulgaria
According to a statement issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in January 2019, Russian and British tourists capture the largest portion of tourist inflows to Egypt.

The statement added that the British tourist inflow used to range between 800,000 and 1 million tourists, but this number also declined after the suspension of flights to Sharm El-Sheikh. British flights are now limited to the tourist landmarks in the Red Sea and the Upper Egyptian cities of Luxor and Aswan.
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3/10/2019 11:57:42 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s tourism to flourish in modern, sophisticated way: Minister]]>
Mashat’s statements to El-Hekaya TV show came during her participation in ITB Berlin, where the Egyptian pavilion is said to have introduced local products in a creative way and on a wide scale, as it is stretched over an area of 1,178 square meters.

She further announced the ministry signed a contract with Beautiful Destinations Company, which uses modern technology that will help promote tourism in Egypt in a different way.

Mashat met with Norbert Fiebig, the president of the Deutscher Reise Verband (DRV), also known as German Travel Association on the second day of participating at ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin).

According to a statement issued by the Ministry on March 8, Mashat said her meeting with Fiebig tackled several issues regarding Egypt and Germany's relations on many levels especially tourism. Both officials started their meeting talking about the positive signs regarding the increasing tourist movement coming to Egypt, especially from the German market, which is considered one of the most important tourist markets for Egypt.

ITB Berlin is known to be the world's largest tourism trade fair. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies. ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin (Berlin's exhibition grounds). 2019's ITB Berlin is expected to last until March 10.]]>
3/9/2019 2:54:45 PM
<![CDATA[Germans are passionate with visiting Egypt's tourist destinations: DRV head]]>
In a Thursday statement, Mashat said her meeting with Fiebig tackled several issues regarding Egypt and Germany's relations on many levels especially tourism. Both of the officials started their meeting talking about the positive signs regarding the increasing tourist movement coming to Egypt, especially from the German market, which is considered one of the most important tourist markets for Egyptian tourism.

Fiebig affirmed that German tourists are passionate regarding visiting the historical sites in Egypt along with other tourist destinations, especially with the notable political and economic stability.

Mashat inaugurated the Egyptian pavilion at ITB Berlin on Wednesday, in conjunction with the event opening. The Egyptian pavilion is reported to be stretched over an area of 1,178 square meters.

ITB Berlin is known to be the world's largest tourism trade fair. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies. ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin (Berlin's exhibition grounds). 2019's ITB Berlin is expected to last until March 10.
]]>
3/8/2019 4:54:22 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism min. opens Egyptian pavilion at ITB Berlin]]>
The Egyptian pavilion is stretched over an area of 1,178 square meters.

The minister was accompanied by Egypt's Ambassador in Berlin Badr Abdel Aati, Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdullah and South Sinai Governor Khalid Fouda.

For the first time, tourist cities in Egypt will be introduced on screens set up at the Egyptian pavilion, Mashat said in early statements.

Mashat said tickets to the ITB will bear a logo of the inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020, which is part of her ministry's campaign to promote for the big day.

Huge billboards have also been set up on Berlin streets to declare the GEM inauguration next year, she added.

A maquette of the GEM and a hologram of the golden mask of King Tutankhamun and his throne will also be displayed at the Egyptian pavilion, she added.

Visitors of the pavilion will also have a taste of Egyptian food and a glimpse into Egyptian music, Mashat said, noting that this is part of the entertainment activities meant to attract audience.

Also 360° photographs of the Sinai Trail, which extends through Mount Saint Catherine, will offer virtual tours of Egypt’s first long-distance hiking trail, the minister added.

A hologram of King Ramses II statue will also be showcased at the ITB, Mashat went on to say. ]]>
3/7/2019 6:25:15 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism min. opens Egyptian pavilion at ITB Berlin]]>
The Egyptian pavilion is stretched over an area of 1,178 square meters.

The minister was accompanied by Egypt's Ambassador in Berlin Badr Abdel Aati, Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdullah and South Sinai Governor Khalid Fouda.

For the first time, tourist cities in Egypt will be introduced on screens set up at the Egyptian pavilion, Mashat said in early statements.

Mashat said tickets to the ITB will bear a logo of the inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020, which is part of her ministry's campaign to promote for the big day.

Huge billboards have also been set up on Berlin streets to declare the GEM inauguration next year, she added.

A maquette of the GEM and a hologram of the golden mask of King Tutankhamun and his throne will also be displayed at the Egyptian pavilion, she added.

Visitors of the pavilion will also have a taste of Egyptian food and a glimpse into Egyptian music, Mashat said, noting that this is part of the entertainment activities meant to attract audience.

Also 360° photographs of the Sinai Trail, which extends through Mount Saint Catherine, will offer virtual tours of Egypt’s first long-distance hiking trail, the minister added.

A hologram of King Ramses II statue will also be showcased at the ITB, Mashat went on to say. ]]>
3/6/2019 1:10:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian diplomat calls for promoting diversified tourist attractions in German market]]>
In statements to MENA on Monday, the diplomat stressed the importance of promoting cultural tourism, particularly in light of unprecedented archaeological discoveries in 2018 and the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in 2020.

TUI Group, the world's number one tourism business, has recently operated a direct line between Frankfurt and Luxor cities to promote cultural tourism in Egypt, Abdel Aati added.

As for Egypt's participation in the 2019 edition of ITB Berlin, set for Messe Berlin, starting on Wednesday, March 6, he said ITB is a must-attend event for every international expert in the tourism industry.

Last year, nearly 11.346 million tourists spent 121.497 million nights in Egypt, he noted.

According to German sources, Egypt's inbound tourists come from Europe. The number of German tourists, who visited Egypt, is estimated at nearly 1.707 million in 2018.]]>
3/4/2019 11:46:19 AM
<![CDATA[Luxor ranks second in hot air balloon rides]]>
Civil Aviation Observer Mahmoud Zain stated to Egypt Today that the number of hot air balloon rides in Luxor surpasses 30 rides per day. He added that the balloons are checked daily by accredited engineers and trainers to ensure the tourists' safety.

Trips are cancelled when the speed of the wind is high as balloons move horizontally depending on that speed. Balloons can go high in the sky by up to 500 meters depending on the extent to which the air is heated by the pilot.

Balloons in Luxor may land in locations different from those of departure where vehicles wait to pick up tourists after they enjoy a panoramic view of the city described as an open museum for housing many ancient Egyptian temples and tombs.]]>
3/3/2019 5:43:26 PM
<![CDATA[Italian tourists start trip of Holy Family path in Egypt]]>
Tourism in Egypt is not only to enjoy the sea and the pyramids; Egypt also offers cultural, archaeological and spiritual trips, according to the Italian agency C Fiaggia on Saturday.

The agency pointed out that this type of tourism attracts more tourists from around the world, especially Italy; tourists who are willing to discover the unknown side of this beautiful country and reveal the spiritual face of Egypt.

In addition to the spiritual side, this trip has beautiful landscapes and sites surrounded by unique nature.

The Holy Family came from Palestine to Egypt via the Arish road, arrived in Old Cairo and then moved to Upper Egypt. They hid there for a while and then returned to the north, passing through the Natroun Valley, and going back through Sinai to Palestine.

Pope Francis visited Egypt in April 2017, carried out a mass and acknowledged the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt as an official Christian pilgrimage. This announcement put the Holy Family tour on equal footing with Fatima in Portugal, suggesting that thousands of Christian tourists would visit Egypt.

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3/3/2019 12:40:13 PM
<![CDATA[Cruise line between Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh to be launched]]>
Chairman of the Red Sea Ports Authority Ayman Saleh tells Egypt Today that the first cruise trip will take place this month. In the trial phase, there will only be one trip per week to be increased to two. Other companies will be allowed to operate their ships after all financial studies are finished.

Egypt ranks second as cruise destination in 2019

Cairo - 7 January 2019: Bloomberg has published a list of top cruise destinations recommended for tourists in 2019 where Egypt ranked second after Cuba preceding six other destinations including Turkey and Indonesia. The agency mentioned that the itineraries of luxury lines will mostly include stops in the country.




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3/2/2019 1:08:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s return to eco-tourism, tops ‘Green Destinations’]]>
Ecotourism has eight main principles, all of which deal with minimizing travellers’ impact, increasing cultural and environmental respect, funding conservation areas and facilities, and provide real, “effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and […] protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet,” as put by TIES.

With the new five-pillar strategy, which was recently announced by Minister of Tourism Rania El-Mashat, now in place and the continuous efforts by the ministry to diversify the types of touristic tours that Egypt offers, coupled with the recommendations that came out of the Arab Economic Forum for Ecotourism and Protected Areas held in 2018, the ministry is now working to fortify Egypt’s eco-tourism industry by putting money into repairing its eco-touristic hotels, advertising its eco-touristic destinations and training staff to be more environmental-friendly.

In fact, in December 2018, Mashat announced that her ministry is keen on restoring environment-friendly hotels and adapting almost-environment-friendly hotels to satisfy the newly-established rules and guidelines, which stipulate certain levels of water and energy consumption and reduced amounts of carbon dioxide emissions, dubbed “Green Destinations”.

So far, Egypt is home to 80 hotels—totalling 20,000 rooms—that have obtained the Green Star Certificate that is awarded to hotels and resorts that comply with the rules and guidelines of the “Green Destinations”. In cooperation with the Chamber of Tourism Establishments, the ministry is encouraging more hotels to adapt and seek eco-friendly certification, as part of her move towards expanding eco-friendly tourism after it started heavily trending in 2017.

In a phone focus group conducted with five Egyptian tour guides, all of the participants agreed that Egypt is the regional pioneer for ecotourism, explaining that it was the 2011 Revolution that led to the stagnation of the whole industry and the development of eco-tourism, leaving the opportunity for other countries to get ahead. Commenting on this, Hassan Abu-Awwad, who often accompanies tourists to Luxor and Aswan, pointed out that Egypt has some of the leading areas worth conserving on a global level, adding that previously there had been efforts to support the eco-tourism industry after it became a global trend, but that this stopped when the tourism industry took a hit in 2011 and then again in 2013. Abu-Awwad went on to reassure that tourism is becoming strong once more and that there is an increasing—and much needed-focus on diversifying tours and on appealing to prospective tourisms by offering environmentally-friendly hotels, resorts and facilities.

According to Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority (TDA), Egypt has the capacity for four eco-tourism zones, namely: coastal, desert, riverbanks and wetland; all of which, according to the TDA and Professor of Sustainable Development and Urban Design Dr. Hesham M. El-Barmelgy, will allow for the sustainable development of economy and the industry. In fact, the TDA goes a step further, suggesting that by marketing for a new type of tourism, which is easily available in the country but not highly exposed on a global level, the tourism industry will be able to absorb more employees, lowering unemployment rates, as well as increasing the availability of foreign currency and raising morale and community pride.

Adding to this, Barmelgy points out that Egypt’s potential would be hindered without appropriate planning, marketing and management. If these three things are available and strategized in such a way that they will lead to the development of the eco-tourism sector, Egypt’s eco-tourism sector will be able to flourish on a global level and will lead other countries, according to Barmelgy’s research.

As of right now, the Tourism Ministry is working on developing eco-tourism in a number of governments, most notably Fayoum. The ministry, in cooperation with the Egyptian Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP), is working in developing touristic areas in Fayoum so that they abide by international standards. This is also being done in Nuweiba and other areas.

The move towards eco-tourism comes hand-in-hand with ministerial efforts to train more people and to enhance the security. Recently, the ministry, which was encouraged by calls from key individuals in the industry and ministry officials, has worked on staff development and training.

Chairman and CEO of Emeco Travel, former head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation and former Chairman of Tourism Chambers Elhamy El-Zayat explained to Egypt Today that one of the top priorities in the tourism sector for the next period is training. El-Zayat adds that because there is no language-proficiency requirement for most hospitality-degree admissions, graduates are often left with poor
English skills.

He adds that funds do exist to train people working in the sector, indicating that money for training has been allocated ever since former Minister of Tourism Fouad Sultan (1985-1993) was in office. To reach a higher level of service and communicate better with tourists, El-Zayat, Walid El Batouty, Counsellor to the Minister of Tourism, Egyptologist, World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations’ representative for the Middle East & North Africa and a celebrity travel guide, and Hisham El-Demery, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB), all call for training.

“We need to make sure that people have a good time. Traveling is an experience. You have to make sure that when tourists come, they will find good English, service and information. It is the guide’s role to show the best of Egypt,” says El-Batouty. “Tour guides are in a great position to generate more business for themselves and for the country by showing the best of Egypt. A guide makes it or breaks it.”

In addition to language and technical abilities, Magdy Saleh, Head of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism in Hurghada, says there’s a need to improve the organization of services offered to tourists. He explains, for instance, that the crowds of taxi drivers at Cairo International Airport’s arrival halls is a chaotic scene for someone stepping out of the airport to be greeted by flocks of drivers shouting randomly at him. “There is need for a policy to organise taxis at the airport better,” he adds. Similarly, Demery would love to see “an awareness campaign on how to treat tourists.”

As a result of such calls, and many more, the ministry has taken a positive, affirmative step towards developing and training staff. The ministry trained 1,250 employees, who work in different touristic governorates, in health and safety, and is working in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (WTO) to modernize the standards for the industry and conduct digital check on hotels. Luckily, these preparations, in addition to the intensifying of security measures on touristic destinations within the country, and local and international Egyptian airports, comes in time for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, which will be hosted by Egypt.

Investing in Egyptian protectorates

Environmental tourism can also save Egypt’s 30 protectorates, which cover 15 percent of the total land and are protected under Law No. 102 of 1983, which was later reaffirmed by Law No. 4 of 1994. By allowing investors to put their money into protectorates, Egypt’s benefits will be threefold: It will increase tourist influx; it will develop and sustain protectorates; and, it will increase the foreign direct investment (FDI) to Egypt.

Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad revealed on the margins of the annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which took place in August 2018, that the Ministry of Environment is preparing to offer 30 nature reserves to the right of use for 5 to 10 years. Since then, the ministry has started offering natural reserves, beginning with Nabq and Wadi Degla with the aim of developing the reserves’ infrastructure.

In a previous Ministry statement, Khaled Fahmy, former Minister of Environment, had said that the Ministry has developed plans to sustainably develop natural protectorate, explaining that the aforementioned plan focuses on supporting the environment, keeping tabs on climate change and supporting visitors to enjoy the protectorates to the highest of levels. This plan, Fahmy has explained, will increase management development at the nature reserves and their resources.

In comments, Fahmy had also pointed out that sustaining the environment would be achieved best through economic prosperity and creating investment opportunities and projects that are able to sustain protectorates. “Investing in protectorates is our hope for a practical solution that sustains protectorates and protects the environment,” he had said.

Given the rise of the now trendy environmental tourism, there is a need for Egypt to keep up with this trend and put itself on the environmental tourism map by finding innovative projects and entertainment opportunities for it tourisms.

The Ministry had previously explained that by nature there are different sides to environmental tourism, suggesting that the private sector will be able to develop them as the high amount of players in the sector and their different interests will ensure that all sides are targeted. The sector’s global revenue comes up to $7.6 trillion and provides 77 million jobs and business opportunities. Moreover, the sector’s global growth is significant, and this confirms that it is promising and can bring us high revenues.

About 8 million visitors go to protectorates in Egypt on a yearly basis, meaning that if these protectorates are developed, they will pose as a great business opportunity for the country, pushing it forwards even more towards a healthy economy.

Putting Egypt on the environmental tourism map

To develop protectorates to make them ready for investors—and more attractive for them too—Egypt has located millions towards protectorates, especially those that have recently been announced. In 2016, Egypt located some LE 38 million to 12 protectorates in Sinai.

Dr. Essam Saadallah, Director of Nature Reserves in Sinai, pointed out that the Ministry of Environment allocated LE 3 million to replacements and renovations, and improving services and securing reserves, adding 120 new sandbags around the coral reefs in the reserves of Ras Mohammed, Abu Jalum and Taba; they are also following diving and snorkelling activities to avoid any damaged that could happen to the coral reefs.

To develop and implement ideas that will meet the needs of visitors, explains Dr Adel Soliman, Former Director of Nature Reserved in the Ministry of Environment and Consultant to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), several governmental and international bodies researched and studied the kind of services that visitors will need in each reserve.

They reached the view that there is a need for environmental hotels, café, shaded areas for people to rest in for a while during their visit and washrooms. Although these developments first started in protectorates in Sinai, they then started to spread across all of Egypt’s protectorates.

In late 2018, Ahmed Salama, Head of Nature Protection Sector, Ministry of Environment, said that the Ministry is almost done developing nine out of 30 protectorates in Egypt. It is expected that developments will be finalized by the end of this year for these nine protectorates, in addition to Wadi Degla and the Petrified Forest.
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2/28/2019 2:40:05 PM
<![CDATA[Environment Ministry organizes cleaning campaign of Abu Galom national park]]>
The campaign is meant to boost awareness of the role played by national parks in preserving natural resources and biodiversity.

It also aims to best benefit from the national parks and preserve them for coming generations.

The campaign included lifting wastes from some parts of the coastal area and Madaq al Shatae area, said director of Abu Galom national park Ahmed el Sadeq in a statement issued by the Environment Ministry.

The wastes were moved in cooperation with the Association For The Protection Of The Environment (APE) and the Dahab city municipal council.
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2/25/2019 12:38:34 PM
<![CDATA[Environment Ministry organizes cleaning campaign of Abu Galom national park]]>
The campaign is meant to boost awareness of the role played by national parks in preserving natural resources and biodiversity.

It also aims to best benefit from the national parks and preserve them for coming generations.

The campaign included lifting wastes from some parts of the coastal area and Madaq al Shatae area, said director of Abu Galom national park Ahmed el Sadeq in a statement issued by the Environment Ministry.

The wastes were moved in cooperation with the Association For The Protection Of The Environment (APE) and the Dahab city municipal council. ]]>
2/25/2019 12:36:51 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo among top favorite Kuwaiti tourist destinations: Kuwaiti official]]>CAIRO – 24 February 2019: Kuwait's Directorate General for Civil Aviation announced Friday that Egypt is among the top favorite destinations for Kuwaitis to spend their holidays.



General for Aviation Safety and Air Transport Affairs Engineer Emad Al-Jlewi said during press remarks that around 218 thousand Kuwaitis will spend their national holidays outside Kuwait from Feb. 21 to March. 2, pointing out that top destinations are Cairo, Dubai, London, and Turkey.



He also added that the Directorate General for Civil Aviation has laid a plan to regulate the departure and arrival of passengers, in coordination with the Kuwait International Airport.



On Jan. 25, a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Egypt and Kuwait on the regulation of air services between the two countries.



The MoU was signed by Vice President of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority Khaled Abdul Moneim and the Civil Aviation Administration of Kuwait.



Kuwait’s Director General of Civil Aviation, Yousuf Al-Fawzan, said in a press statement that the memorandum comes in the context of modernizing the bilateral operational arrangements related to air transportation regulation between the two countries.



It was agreed to grant designated airlines from both countries the right to increase the operational capacity and to use other services of operational codes, Al-Fozan said.

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2/24/2019 12:14:51 PM
<![CDATA[African diplomats among spectators of Ramsis II sun alignment]]>
Among visitors who attended the event were 22 African ambassadors and diplomats, along with their relatives, watched the sun alignment. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi assumed this month the chairmanship of the African Union for one year term, during which he seeks to boost relations between Cairo and countries of the continent.

Egypt is also preparing to host the African Cup of Nations football tournament this summer.

The 201-minute sun alignment phenomenon happens twice per year on the anniversaries of Paranoiac king’s birthday and coronation on October 22 and February 22 respectively.

The sun illuminates four statues of King Ramses II seated at the top of the temple, symbolize the facade of the temple, which resembles an edifice.

Among the visitors of the archaeological site were Ministers of Antiquities, Tourism, Investments, Culture and Communication Khaled Anani, Rania Mashat, Sahr Nasr, Inas Abdel-Dayem, Amr Talaat respectively, said a statement by the Ministry of Antiquities.

The ministry announced that a total of 6,500 tourists watched the sun alignment at the face of Ramses II status at Abu Simbel temple
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2/23/2019 11:46:45 AM
<![CDATA[El Alamein is the right destination to go next Summer: SiViaggia]]>
“Those looking for new ideas and new sea destinations to go next summer, El Alamein , in Egypt, is the right one,” SiViaggia added. “New resorts, tourist villages, hotels and even residences, big or small as they like, are coming out of nowhere on the seafront.”

The magazine described El Alamein’s water to have the color of the Maldives and the fine sand beach is perfect for the summer months.

“Everything is new and everything is perfect,” the article added.

Moreover, SiViaggia said El Alamein is also an ideal destination for families with children.

El Alamein is a town in the northern Matrouh Governorate of Egypt, l ocated on the Mediterranean Sea, it lies 106 kilometres west of Alexandria and 240 kilometres northwest of Cairo.

The town has a number of military cemeteries such as the Italian and German military cemeteries on Tel el-Eisa Hill outside the town, a separate Greek cemetery, and a Commonwealth war cemetery, built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

“For those interested and wanting to take a break from sunbathing, you can visit the Military Museum with the relics of war, including uniforms, weapons, letters from the front and, in the yard, tanks, cannons, fighter planes and means of transport,” the website added.

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2/22/2019 2:20:35 PM
<![CDATA[Air France-KLM more than doubles profits in 2018 despite strikes]]>
"The strong performance of our front-line teams and continued cost control helped partly offset the impact of strikes at Air France in the first half of the year, as well as significant fuel headwinds," Benjamin Smith, the company's new chief executive, said in a statement.

The Canadian businessman took over in September following Jean-Marc Janaillac's sudden exit in a bitter dispute over salaries in the group's French wing.

Fifteen days of strike cost the company 335 million euros, Air France said.

On Tuesday, Air France pilots voted by 85 percent in favour of a new pay deal, concluding a series of long employee-management negotiations.

Revenue growth last year was up in all business segments, with operating earnings coming in at of 1.3 billion euros, the Franco-Dutch airline group reported.

The group said it had carried more than 100 million passengers last year, making it the leading European airline for long-haul traffic.

Transavia, a low-coast subsidiary, carried 15.8 million passengers last year, an increase of 7.1 percent on 2017.

Full year 2018 capacity increased by 2.1 percent, mainly driven by the South American, North Atlantic and Asian networks, with respective growth of 8.6 percent, 3.0 percent and 2.1 percent, Air France-KLM said.

In 2019, the group will concentrate on "operational efficiency", financial director Frederic Gagey told reporters.

"We can make a lot more money compared to last year," he said, adding that Air France-KLM would also be looking to renewing its fleet to replace some of its more fuel-guzzling planes.]]>
2/20/2019 11:56:06 AM
<![CDATA[All you need to know about tourism conferences in Aswan]]>
Head of a tourism company, Salah Zafer, told Egypt Today that tourism conferences are the finest type of tourism, adding that participants in these events are people of a high level of culture.

“Despite the importance of tourism conferences, they mostly take place in winter; in December, January and February. I wish these conferences are held throughout the year to ensure the regular flow of tourists,” said Mohamed al-Ansari, chairman of a tourism company.

A Nubian citizen, Ahmed Noby, also said that tourism conferences are a form of cultural tourism, and it is noticeable that the average rate is increasing every year.

In November 2018, at the closing ceremony of the World Youth Forum, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi named Aswan the capital of African Youths in 2019.

The president made an open invitation to all African leaders to attend the Aswan Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development.

Luxor and Aswan are probably the two most popular and important touristic destinations in Egypt. However, to arrive in Luxor, tourists had to first land in Cairo International Airport and then take another internal flight to Luxor. Egypt needed a faster, direct route to Luxor so that tourists are encouraged to come.

These direct routes will solve the problems tourists face when planning their visits which will, in turn, improve tourism in Egypt.
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2/18/2019 2:07:39 PM
<![CDATA[New 2019 plan to develop, train tour guides]]>
The program includes around 90 courses, two courses per week. The courses will cover all tourist activities given by experts and specialists

Among the trainers are Soha Bahgat, an adviser for the Tourism Minister; Parliamentarian Amr Sedki, chairman of the Tourism and Travel Council; and Hossam El Shaer, chairman of ETAA.

The opening ceremony of the training program started with speeches by El Shaer and Ali Al-Manstri, chairman of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, followed by a lecture about Ministry of Tourism’s plan to develop the tourism experience in Egypt, which was delivered by Bahgat. Another lecture was also delivered about the legal legislation of tourism companies by Sedki, followed by a third lecture about developing strategies and upgrading tourism companies by Professor Yasser Sheta.

The new program aims to produce 15 thousand trainees this year; especially after the Administrative Council of ETAA has increased training budget from L.E 2 million to L.E 10 million.

The Tourism Ministry gives a great priority to training tourist guides to be qualified enough and increase the service efficiency provided to tourists. The training program will not be limited for tourist guides only but it will expand to tourism companies and all sectors related to the field of tourism.]]>
2/16/2019 1:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism Ministry mulls boosting cooperation with China's Sichuan]]>
On the behalf of Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat, Bahgat stressed the importance of the Chinese market as one of the promising tourist markets for Egypt, pointing out that 2018 witnessed flocking of many Chinese tourists to Egypt.

During the meeting, she noted that promoting for opening the Grand Egyptian Museum under the rubric "GEM2020" is a major axis of the Egyptian tourism promotion campaign.

Bahgat pointed to the cooperation with China in the fields of training and improving the efficiency of the human factor, especially what is related to Chinese cuisine due to the Egyptians' turnout to it.

Lin, for his part, said that China is looking forward to fostering tourism, academic, and cultural cooperation citing the Chinese tourists' passion for the ancient Egyptian civilization.

He offered training programs for the Egyptian chiefs to train for preparing the Chinese food.

Lin invited Mashat to attend the international travel expo, set to be held in Sichuan in September, saying the Egyptian companies' participation will have a great impact on the Chinese tourists flocking to Egypt.

Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority Ahmed Youssef said that the fair will be a great opportunity for getting acquainted with the Chinese tourism companies and the needs of the Chinese tourists as well as promoting for the cultural tourism in Egypt.

The meeting touched on developing tourism between Egypt and China in light of operating the first direct flights between Cairo and Sichuan.]]>
2/15/2019 4:27:27 PM
<![CDATA[In photos: Aswan's sailing boats clear your mind]]>
A falouka (sailboat) is an important means of transportation in Aswan and is different from being on a big ship as it gives one an intense enjoyment of the Nile and its charm.

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Mohammed Shanbo, 19, a sailboat driver in Aswan, told Egypt Today that serenity is the main characteristic of sailboats, adding that German tourists love Nile cruises the most.

Shanbo revealed that tourists like adventures, saying “they do not fear the wind, unlike the Egyptian customer.”

Ahmed al-lybe, 25, a sailboat driver, also said that the season starts from November to March and then stops at the beginning of the summer, so they only rely on the money they get during the season.

In the past few years, Aswan has suffered from the absence of Japanese, Indian and French tourists due to political reasons, but in 2018 tourism has returned thanks to the government's efforts, a source told Egypt Today.

The source added that 2018 witnessed a huge number of tourists in Aswan’s streets; in addition to the increase in the number of Nile tours. He said that the price of one Nile tour has reached $50 up from $30.

Luxor and Aswan are probably the two most popular and important touristic destinations in Egypt. However, to arrive in Luxor, tourists had to first land in Cairo International Airport and then take another internal flight to Luxor. Egypt needed a faster, direct route to Luxor so that tourists are encouraged to come.

These direct routes will solve the problems tourists face when planning their visits which will, in turn, improve tourism in Egypt.

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2/13/2019 11:34:37 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's tourism recovering, eyeing more Chinese visitors: minister]]>
"We had a leap in tourism in 2017 and a large boom in 2018, when Egypt was visited by renowned foreign figures," the minister said in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua in Minya province, south of the capital Cairo.

Tourism brought Egypt about 13 billion US dollars in revenues in 2010 alone, when some 14.7 million tourists visited the country.

After that, the tourism sector has been suffering recession in Egypt over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security challenges that resulted from the ouster of two heads of state in 2011 and 2013.

It further deteriorated after a plane crash in Sinai killing over 200 people, mostly Russians, in October 2015, and another tragic crash of an EgyptAir flight killing all 66 people on board, including 15 French nationals, in May 2016.

"Tourism in Egypt started to recover and overcome the consequences of the Russian plane crash, and many countries started to resume its suspended flights to Egyptian airports," Mashat said.

Moscow has already resumed direct flights to Cairo airport in April 2018 while flights to other Egyptian cities, including the popular Red Sea resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, will be resumed "soon," according to Russian President Vladimir Putin following talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Russia's Sochi in October 2018.

"Many other countries increased their flights to Egyptian airports such as Serbia, which has 11 new flights to Hurghada," the minister emphasized.

On the other hand, Chinese Sichuan Airlines launched a direct flight to Cairo airport for the first time in late October 2018.

Egypt also opened in late January its new Sphinx International Airport, about 12 km away from the Great Pyramids of Giza, linking tourist destinations northern and southern the country via domestic flights.

"In the tourism ministry, we have launched a flight promotion program in early November 2018, which urged some cities abroad to open new airlines with Egyptian airports," the minister explained.

Mashat said that her ministry holds regular discussions with tourist companies and travel agents to find out new means of attracting more tourists to the monument-rich most populous Arab country.

The tourism ministry keeps an eye on the archeological discoveries announced by the antiquities ministry to add new destinations to Egypt's tourism map.

Last week, Mashat attended the announcement of the discovery of more than 40 mummies in ancient tombs in Minya.

"Cultural tourism is very important and unique in Egypt," Mashat said.

"Inviting foreign diplomats and media channels to such discoveries is meant to introduce and promote new attractions in Egypt to the world, such as Minya province that was not very well-known despite its attractive sites," she said.

"We have a 'destination branding' as part of our promotion program, introducing a variety of tourist destinations in Egypt to foreign visitors in cooperation with the ministry of antiquities," Mashat added.

The minister said that the upcoming opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020, which will be the biggest in the world to display the artifacts of one civilization, is a key part of the tourism ministry's promotion plan.

"I would like firstly to wish all Chinese people a happy Chinese New Year, and it was the first time in Egypt to light up Cairo's Saladin Citadel in red in celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival and the Chinese New Year," the minister said.

She continued that the tourism ministry eyes more Chinese tourists to visit Egypt in the near future in the light of the fast growing relations between the two countries.

"We attach importance to Chinese tourists and Egypt has a comprehensive strategic partnership with China," Mashat said, noting that China was among the first countries visited by Sisi after he came to office.

Mashat stressed the fruitful cooperation between her ministry and the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo in various areas including training and learning from the Chinese expertise.

Among the joint activities is that a group of Chinese chefs will visit Egypt next month to teach their Egyptian counterparts how to cook Chinese dishes, according to the minister.

She noted that the Chinese people have their own means of social media and her ministry will address through their own channels "to make sure the message will reach every Chinese citizen in different regions."

"We have many other projects of cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo including the promotion of Egyptian tourist destinations in Chinese language," the minister told Xinhua.]]>
2/11/2019 11:36:52 AM
<![CDATA[NASA to send humans to the moon once again - 'but this time we'll stay']]>
NASA is planning to take the "next giant leap in deep space exploration" as it looks to send astronauts to the moon who are able to stay there.

The space agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, called for American firms to help develop human lunar landers - "reusable systems for astronauts to land on the moon" - as he said scientists had been given a mandate by President Donald Trump and Congress to return to the moon for the first time since 1972.]]>
2/10/2019 11:23:47 AM
<![CDATA[In pics: Egypt hosts first traveling environmental exhibition ]]>
Set for two days, the exhibition is organized by the Social Services Cooperative Society in cooperation with the NGO Unit in the Ministry of Environment and several civil society organizations.

“The exhibition aims at introducing the objectives of the International agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, in particular the vision of Egypt 2030 and how to achieve it as well as how to address the problems of climate change” said head of the Sustainable Development Unit, Samah Saleh.

Saleh confirmed that the exhibition also preparing of new generations able of facing environmental problems and finding practical solutions in addition to train Egyptian youth to manage environmental projects and using of natural resources. It aims to disseminate innovative methods of dealing with waste.

Products displayed at the exhibition show the use of hydroponics and soilless farming using koaponic, as well as models for applications of surface cultivation, the reuse of solid waste, models for organic fertilizer, recycling products and other applied environmental models that facilitate the access of information.

The exhibition also includes the establishment of an initiative to educate the child environmentally and stimulate the protection of the environment, and the establishment of seminars for the identification of various environmental activities.

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2/9/2019 2:30:24 PM
<![CDATA[The giant Chinese companies shaping the world's industries]]>
The merger by Alstom and Siemens was vetoed by the EU on Thursday, but concerns about the overwhelming power of vast, often state-backed Chinese companies is not limited to the rail industry.

Here are some of areas in which Chinese companies control a large piece of the global market.

- Rail -

China's state-backed CRRC is the world's largest train manufacturer, with locomotives and wagons ordered across the globe from Boston to Philadelphia, Cambodia to Colombia, and customers including the iconic London Underground and Germany's Deutsche Bahn.

Its annual revenues of 26 billion euros (29 billion dollars) alone outweigh the three Western heavyweights Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom, each of which brings in around nine billion a year.

- Agrichemicals -

The state-owned ChemChina became one of the world's seeds and pesticide producers when it acquired Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta for $43 billion in 2017, putting it in competition with Monsanto and DowDupont.

It was the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm yet, ahead of the $15.1 billion purchase of Canada's Nexen Energy by China's state oil firm CNOOC in 2013.

ChemChina also controls Italian tyremaker Pirelli and German machinery firm KraussMaffei.

- Energy -

The state-run China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) launched its locally developed Hualong One nuclear reactor in 2015 to compete with French and US models, selling to Argentina and Pakistan.

Chinese solar panel manufacturers Jinko, Trina and Solar dominate the global market.

And Chinese oil companies -- CNOOC, CNPC and Sinopec -- are investing heavily even as their global rivals cut spending.

- Aviation -

China's state-owned plane-maker Comac expects to deliver its first home-made passenger jet to a customer in 2021, as it seeks to challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus.

The company says it has received a thousand orders for its 168-seater C919 plane.

- Food -

The state-owned food giant COFCO is playing an increasing role in world grain trading after purchasing the agricultural arm of Singaporean commodities trader Noble as well as Dutch Nidera.

China's WH Group became the world's largest pork producer in 2013, when it purchased major US pork and hot dog producer Smithfield Foods Inc.

- Drones -

Founded by a Chinese university student in 2006, DJI has become the world's top civilian drone maker with 70 percent of the market, outpacing its French rival Parrot.

- Smartphones -

Chinese smartphone makers are taking a larger slice of the global market, with Huawei at 15 percent, Xiaomi 8.7 percent and Oppo 8.1 percent.

Phone sales by Huawei and Oppo surged by 30 percent last year, defying a downward trend that hit rivals Apple and Samsung.

- Home appliances -

China's Haier Group is the world's leading manufacturer of home appliances with around 10 percent of the market, ahead of rivals Whirlpool and Electrolux.

Haier even purchased the appliances arm of US giant General Electric in 2016.

- Batteries -

Chinese firm CATL, which supplies batteries for car titans Volkswagen, Ford and Daimler, is battling with Japan's Panasonic for the world's lithium electric car battery top spot.

Its production capacity will increase fivefold by 2020 due to a mammoth new factory in China, and the firm has announced a huge factory in Germany to supply European customers.

- Freight -

The state-owned Cosco Group is the world's third biggest shipping company with 50 container ports across the globe, including Greece's Piraeus and Spain's Bilbao.]]>
2/8/2019 2:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[German minister visits Giza Pyramids]]>
During a visit to the archaeological Giza Plateau on Monday, accompanied by the German ambassador to Egypt, the minister was briefed on the construction of the Greater Pyramid. He visited the Sphinx and the panorama area as well and took several pictures, Director of the Pyramids Archaeological Area Ashraf Mohy said Tuesday.

The minister also gave a number of interviews with Egyptian and German TV stations in which he expressed admiration of the Egyptian civilization.]]>
2/5/2019 2:54:10 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Japan discuss joint tourist cooperation]]>
Fouda confirmed that security and stability prevail in the governorate, according to a statement issued by his office.

He also shed light on the many ancient landmarks and tourist attractions that the governorate has which makes it a great enjoyable destination for those fond of religious, sports and cultural tourism.

The Japanese delegates expressed pleasure for their meeting with the governor and pledged to convey the positive image they conceived to the Japanese travel agents.]]>
2/5/2019 2:46:14 PM
<![CDATA[Upper Egypt's Aswan wins 2019 UNESCO Learning Award]]>
The award's committee said these cities introduced ideal development and commitment to promote education and learning through innovative and determined policies and programs.

Developing the strategy of bringing together and diversifying projects, including gardening and water conservation in schools, and providing diverse training opportunities for all segments of society were among the most important factors for winning the award, said Mervat al-Samman, a coordinator for Aswan in the UIL.

The awards will be presented at the 2019 International Conference on Learning Cities in Colombia's Medellin. Medellin is one of the ten winning cities.

The cities also include Malaysia's Petaling Jaya, China's Chengdu, Greece's Heraklion, Nigeria's Ibadan, Ukraine's Melitopol, Mexico's Santiago, South Korea's Seodaemun-gu, and Denmark's Sonderborg.

The UNESCO Learning City Award aims at recognizing and displaying cities' good practices in introducing quality education and providing lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens at the local level.

This award is presented every two years to cities in each of the five UNESCO regions that have managed to achieve significant development in learning. Also, the progress should be achieved by implementing the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities guiding documents.

As Egypt chairs the African Union for this year, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi declared in November, at the closing ceremony of the World Youth Forum, Aswan as the capital for African Youths in 2019.

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2/4/2019 10:28:30 AM
<![CDATA[Medical tourism bill to be discussed in parliament soon: MP]]>
House of Representatives’ Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee has finished its final report on the bill and will submit it for the general discussion, he added.

In previous remarks in December 2011, Sedki said the draft law will ensure coordination between the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Health in the emerging field of medical tourism, adding that Egypt has around 1,300 medical sites, but they do not have resorts; hence, the ministries will cooperate to develop these sites.

In case missed it

Egypt to issue facilitated medical tourism visas soon

CAIRO - 22 March 2018: The ministers of foreign affairs and aviation are working on establishing a mechanism to issue medical tourism visas to foreign patients, for the first time in the country, an official source said.





Numerous mineral springs in Egypt constitute a therapeutic tourism attraction. A spring in Wadi Assal (Honey Valley) in Ras Sudr is known among the locals to treat arthritis, and cleanse the skin.

Hammam Moussa, located about three kilometers north of el-Toor City, includes five springs that pour into a pool covered by a large dome. The pool is continually filled with natural, renewable sulfuric water that measures 38° Celsius, and is believed to help cure rheumatism, arthritis, bone and skin diseases, as well as heal wounds.

Hammam Pharaon (Pharaoh’s Bath), located on the international road to Sharm El-Sheikh, is a natural pool of water springing from caves inside a mountain and pouring into the Gulf of Suez. Water in the bath contains a high concentration of sulfur.


Additional reporting by Dunya Hassanin and Mohamed Magdi al-Sisi

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2/1/2019 3:15:28 PM
<![CDATA[Cost-conscious Chinese tourists staying closer to home for Lunar New Year]]>
The week-long holiday, which takes place this year in the first week of February, is one of China's longest breaks and over 400 million people are expected to travel across the country for family reunions, according to Chinese travel agency Ctrip. It estimates 7 million will go abroad.

Hotels and travel agencies in Asian countries from Thailand to Japan anticipate higher numbers than a year ago of Chinese tourists, who have become a powerful spending force with the ability to make, or break, the fortunes of retailers and tourism brands.

But recently, the numbers going to the United States, Australia and New Zealand have fallen or only show small increases.

"We see the growth start to slow a little bit and per pax spending, especially on shopping, declining," said Hunter Williams, a U.S.-based partner at management consultant firm Oliver Wyman.

The consultancy says that average spending on overseas shopping a year ago was 5,800 yuan ($855), compared with 8,000 yuan around Lunar New Year in 2016.

In 2018, the Chinese economy grew at its slowest rate in nearly three decades, and economists expect a further decline this year, in part because of weakening consumer spending.

He Yanping, 26, who works in advertising in Beijing, was among those not venturing too far overseas for Lunar New Year, with an 11-day Malaysia holiday she estimates will cost between 8,000 to 10,000 yuan.

"I actually wanted to go to Australia but the problem is that it's too far, and the hotels and visa are expensive," she said.

FULL BALI FLIGHTS

Ctrip said bookings indicated the four most popular destinations are Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, all within in seven-hours flying time from Beijing or Shanghai.

Incoming flights are full, said Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, which represents the industry on the popular Indonesian holiday. "We are optimistic that bookings will be at least the same (as 2018)."

The Thai Hotels Association said bookings from China, which tumbled after 47 Chinese tourists died when a boat sank near Phuket in July, were back to normal levels.

Chinese outbound travel to the United States has seen a significant slowing since trade frictions between Beijing and Washington began escalating.

In July-September, such arrivals fell 20 percent from a year earlier, according to the private China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, which analyses Chinese travel data.

"For every citizen, it became clear that it is not politically correct at this moment in time to travel to the USA, especially for leisure," an institute spokesman said.

The outlook for Australia and New Zealand, in previous years popular during their summers, is also less rosy.

In November, Chinese arrivals in New Zealand were 4.4 percent below a year earlier, and in Australia they just 1.6 percent higher.

Air New Zealand on Wednesday lowered its profit outlook and forecast revenue growth would ease due to weaker tourism.

Du Ge, a sales director at Beijing Xinjie International Travel Service which organises tours to New Zealand and Australia, said bookings ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday have been weak, which he attributed to the economic climate.

"Three or four years ago, we could have more than 3,000 bookings. Now, maybe 1,000," he said.

"Tourism is considered a luxury, something to have after your stomach is full. But as people's disposable incomes fall, tourism will be impacted." ($1 = 6.7024 Chinese yuan)]]>
1/31/2019 1:06:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt witnesses rapid increase in flow of tourists ]]>
“The ministry's policy also sheds light on the distinctive features of the Egyptian character and the different tourist destinations in Egypt,” Nabil added.
Egyptian tourism skyrocketed hitting its peak in 2017, according to Nabil.

Moreover, the parliament's Committee of African Affairs held a meeting headed by parliamentarian Tarek Radwan, in which a persistent plan to boost the African-Egyptian tourism was set.

The Ministry of Tourism expects Egypt to be enlisted among the most visited countries in 2019, according to the latest statistics.

In a similar vein, Egypt has been announced as the fastest growing tourist destination in terms of the year-over-year increase in the number of visitors, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s 2018 release on global travel and tourism.

The annual report showed that Egypt welcomed about 8.5 million tourists during 2017 with an increase of 55.1 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Luxor and Giza were among Egypt’s most famous and well-known cities, according to the report.

France, however, was the highest voted country for tourists in 2017.

In August, a government official told Reuters that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to amount to $4.8 billion, compared to the same period of the previous year. ]]>
1/30/2019 11:50:56 AM
<![CDATA[Japan's ANA to order 30 Boeing, 18 Airbus planes]]>
ANA Holdings said it would buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes and 18 Airbus A320neo units, citing growing demand in the region and increased inbound tourism to Japan.

The company said the 30 Boeing jets would have a catalogue price of 383 billion yen ($3.5 billion), adding that the firm has so far confirmed orders for 20 units, with an option to buy 10 more.

The 18 Airbus orders are all confirmed, but their engines are yet to be decided, the company said.

For now, the Airbus deal has a catalogue price of 166 billion yen, ANA Holdings said.

The deal makes ANA the first Japanese buyer of the Boeing model, while the Airbus A320neo already serves ANA's international routes.

The company praised the fuel efficiency of the two models.]]>
1/29/2019 1:22:09 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to receive new cargo aircraft in February ]]>
The source revealed that the deal includes that Airbus and EFW transform the planes from passenger aircrafts into cargo ones so that the capacity of each becomes 60 tons.

The third will be delivered in June as part of the company’s strategic plan to enter new markets in Africa, and some European and Gulf countries.
]]>
1/28/2019 1:29:49 PM
<![CDATA[Serbian flights to Cairo to resume in 2019]]>CAIRO – 27 January 2019: Direct flights connecting Cairo to Serbia’s capital Belgrade will be resumed during 2019, after more than a decade of suspension.


Serbian flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh were resumed in 2018 after rounds of negotiations with the Serbian Embassy.


“We displayed the mutual relations between the two countries over the last year and the expected plans for the coming year,” Amr Al-Jowaily, the Egyptian ambassador to Belgrade, told Television Belgrade in an interview.


“EgyptAir has many plans set to facilitate flights between Cairo and Belgrade. Such step reflects Egypt as a center for regional airline flights in Africa. Hence, Egypt will have ties with all the African countries,” Jowaily added.


“Resuming Serbian airline flights will have a positive effect not only on increasing the flow of tourists but also increasing mutual economical and trade co-operation,” Al-Juwaili further stated.


On July 10, 2017, EgyptAir and Aegean Airlines, the flag carrier of Greece and the largest Greek airline, expanded their codeshare cooperation to include Belgrade.


Expanding the codeshare allows passengers to travel with easier connections and more flexibility with one ticket and one single check-in at Cairo Airport to Belgrade via Athens.


According to EX-YU Aviation News, Niš Constantine the Great Airport will be linked to Egypt this coming summer season, connecting the Serbian city with the African continent through scheduled flights for the first time.


Jowaily was quoted as saying, “We are expecting the first flights to depart for Egypt in May 2019. An important element in civil aviation is to think outside the box, as we did with Niš, and to consider the bigger picture, as we are projecting for Cairo as a regional hub".


Jowaily also noted that progress is being made on the introduction of scheduled flights between Cairo and Belgrade. "This is one of the most important steps we all need to work on to expand bilateral relations.


“We have invited airlines in both countries to consider not only the important aspects of passenger traffic between the two countries, but the equally important fact that both capitals are gateways to their respective regions", the Ambassador told the Cord Magazine.


He added, "Cairo has one of the most extensive network of flights to Africa and the Arab world. It is worth noting that 'Greater Cairo' now hosts two new airports, namely West Cairo's Sphinx International Airport, which enjoys tremendous advantage of close proximity to the Giza Pyramids.


Moreover, a set of meetings will be held to discuss issues of mutual concerns such as agriculture, healthcare, communication and technology, which would be of a great addition to both countries’ economy and sustainable development.”


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1/27/2019 12:11:29 PM
<![CDATA[Sphinx International Airport to operate its first internal flight]]>
It is is scheduled to operate about 15 flights a week to serve the internal movement during the half-year vacation in Egypt. Flights are set to head from Sphinx Airport to Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and vice versa.

“Flights are fully booked, particularly the flights going to Luxor and Aswan due to their wonderful weather in winter,” an official at the airport told Egypt Today.

“The Sphinx International Airport offers low price flight tickets in comparison to the Cairo International Airport,” he added.

The Sphinx airport is located near the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, serving near regions such as Giza, Al Haram and 6 October City, Faiyum and Beni Suef.

Being located near touristic places like the Pyramids of Giza and the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, the airport will grasp people’s attraction towards one-day tours. ]]>
1/26/2019 2:15:14 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s Grand Museum to be run by private sector: Min. of Tourism]]>
In a CNN interview, Mashat added that this considers to be a big change, as the government is taking the private sector seriously and working towards engaging them in all the country’s sector to achieve profits and success.



“We are thinning different about the tourism sector, which 98 percent of it led by the private sector, and this is something we are very proud of” Mashat added.

Talking about the Museum, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism said that the government is very excited about this project. “From inside the Museum you have all these monuments and it is very old and ancient, but from the outside it is very contemporary, which reflects the message we want to give to the world. We are very old civilization but we do have modernity” Mashat stated.


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Mashat also pointed out that when she first took the sector she wanted the 17 SGDs (Sustainable Development Goals) to be key component from Egypt’s message to the world through tourism, explain that the government is trying to embed these principles (SGDs) with the private sector.


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She added that Egypt have today ten percent of hotel rooms aligned with the green star certification. “We are changing the norms of evaluations to the starts, and in the new norms we are going to include environmentally sensitive aspects in hotels.” Mashat said.

She noted that last week one of Egypt’s biggest hotels moved to the solar energy generation to allow more resources to be used within the industry and help boosting the message.

First Solar Power Station at JW Marriot Cairo

CAIRO - 19 January 2019: JW Marriott Cairo is proud to celebrate the launch of the first advanced solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) Modeling softwares, the Helioscope and PVSyst, that uses Solar power to convert the sun's rays into electrical energy. The project is contributed in cooperation with H.E.




Mashat also affirmed that Egypt is a destination to everybody’s budget and interest, adding that the country has diversity on its visitor’s base, which is not necessarily consisted of high or law spenders, especially with Egypt ranked second highest destination on the list for 2019.

Regarding the government security measures to maintain safety, Mashat said that country is doing everything it can so the tourists’ visit to Egypt is “enjoyable and safe”.



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1/25/2019 5:58:00 PM
<![CDATA[Aviation service MOU inked between Egypt, Kuwait]]>
The MoU was signed by Vice President of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority Khaled Abdul Moneim and the Civil Aviation Administration of Kuwait.

Kuwait’s Director General of Civil Aviation, Yousuf Al-Fawzan, said in a press statement that the memorandum comes in the context of modernizing the bilateral operational arrangements related to air transportation regulation between the two countries.

It was agreed to grant designated airlines from both countries the right to increase the operational capacity and to use other services of operational codes, Al-Fozan said.
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1/25/2019 11:48:37 AM
<![CDATA[Cyprus to increase cruise trips to Egypt]]>
This came during Pilides' visit to Egypt on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Pilides hailed the bilateral relations between Egypt and Cyprus in several fields, referring to the depth of historical relations between the two countries, the statement reported.

She discussed with Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat ways to promote cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus, especially in maritime transport.

Pilides also discussed with Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) Chairman Mohab Mamesh investment opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone for Cypriot companies.

“During the coming period, a Cypriot delegation will visit the Suez Canal,” She added.

In 2017, Cyprus and Egypt started discussing an agreement to build a gas pipe from a Cypriot natural gas field to Egypt, which was followed by signing an agreement between the Egyptian minister of petroleum and Cyprus' Minister of Energy Lakkotrypis to transport gas from Cyprus to Egypt via a maritime pipeline.

Furthermore, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus in 2013, allowing both states to explore oil and gas in their economic zones.]]>
1/23/2019 1:10:11 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt participates in "Fiture" int'l tourism fair in Spain]]>
Egypt's Ambassador to Spain Omar Selim will participate in the inauguration of the Egyptian pavilion at the five-day international event along with a delegation from the Egyptian governmental and private tourism sector.

Youssef underlined the importance of Egypt's participation in the Fiture which is the third-largest international tourist exhibition after the Berlin and London bourses.

The fair represents a good chance to meet partners and decision makers in the tourism sector from all over the world as well as tour operators and travel agencies operating in the Spanish market, Youssef said.

Youssef added that the event also provides an opportunity to meet with representatives of the international media outlets.

Twenty-six exhibitors representing tourism companies, hotels and airline companies along with EgyptAir are taking part in the Egyptian pavilion.

During the visit, Youssef will also attend the meetings of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which will be held at the organization's headquarters in Madrid. The meetings will include the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR).]]>
1/22/2019 2:46:51 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to participate in Cairo International Book Fair ]]>
The statement reported that the ministry will offer different kinds of services to guests and participants representing countries from around the World.

Also, General Directorate of Air Culture at the Ministry of Aviation will set up an aircraft-shaped pavilion to get youths and children updated on the culture of travel and aviation.

The ministry will offer gifts and great discounts to visitors of the fair.
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1/22/2019 11:11:42 AM
<![CDATA[Parliament committee calls for removing impediments to restore Korean tourism to Egypt]]>
In a press statement released on Monday, Kholy called on parliamentarians of both countries to exert more efforts to remove any impediments standing in the way of restoring Korean tourism to Egypt, calling for resuming direct flights between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Karim Darwish asserted, during a meeting held late Sunday with the South Korean Parliamentary Society, the depth of Egyptian-Korean relations that date back to the 1940s. He noted that relations and visits between the two countries have been on the rise over the past period.

The meeting was attended by the Korean ambassador in Cairo.

Darwish also reiterated that Egypt welcomes Korean investments and praised the existing coordination between Egypt and Korea in all international fora.

Meanwhile, the Korean parliamentary delegation stressed that Egypt is a great country which has a mighty weight in the region, praising the economic reforms that have been recently introduced by the Egyptian government.]]>
1/21/2019 11:37:50 AM
<![CDATA[Royal Romantic BBQ Dinner at the Garden by Sofitel Luxor Winter Palace]]>
Enjoy the breeze and dulcet oriental music and taste meat delicacies on the barbecue, served with an array of delicious creations, authentic Egyptian tagines, oriental dips and appetizers. An ultimate romantic experience to cherish and impress your beloved one. Starting from EGP 700 per person.]]>
1/20/2019 1:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[Romantic Dinner in Aswan by King’s Fouad Corner at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract]]>
Dine under the stars and soak the shimmering Nile views. Sit down at a candlelit table for two in a secluded dream location, where our butler will meet your every romantic desire for a seamless fine dining affair. Starting from EGP 1,200 dinner for a mouthwatering three - course dinner menu.]]>
1/20/2019 1:45:38 PM
<![CDATA[We work on achieving sustainable tourism development - minister]]>
The plan to advance this vital sector is based on five axes which include institutional and legislative reforms besides paying attention to tourism promotion, developing the national tourism infrastructure and encouraging investments, she noted.

During a press conference held on the occasion of inaugurating the first solar energy station in JW Marriott Hotel Cairo, the minister said that the structural reform program targets achieving sustainable tourism development via formulating and implementing structural reforms which aim at enhancing the competitive ability of the tourist sector to cope with the global trends.

Inaugurating this solar station embodies one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to energy, Mashat asserted, pointing out to the growing interest in the sustainable tourism business to make positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.]]>
1/19/2019 3:18:27 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism, environment ministries in talks over nature protectorates]]>
Fouad said the ministry is now trying to promote public awareness on the importance of preserving natural resources, saying the ministry is trying to involve citizens into environmental work and local communities into development tracks.

Mashat underlined the importance of stepping up cooperation with the environment ministry within the coming period as regards the application of the structural reform program launched by the ministry to develop the tourism sector.

The program aims at achieving sustainable tourism and applying international criteria to preserve natural wealthes.
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1/18/2019 8:11:32 PM
<![CDATA[Panda celebrates first birthday in Malaysian zoo with ice cake]]>
The youngster looked around shyly as a zookeeper carried her to a platform in her enclosure where the cake, which had a large number "one" on top, was waiting.

After nibbling at some carrots used to decorate the creation, the panda -- who has not yet been named -- seemed to tire of the celebrations, and fell asleep.

Currently weighing 34 kilos (75 pounds), she is the second cub born to Liang Liang and Xing Xing since they were sent from China to Malaysia in 2014, on a 10-year loan.

The first, Nuan Nuan, was born in August 2015 and sent back to China in 2017. Beijing and Kuala Lumpur have agreed that cubs born in captivity must go back to China at the age of two.

The pandas are kept at the national zoo's panda centre outside Kuala Lumpur.

It's estimated there are some 1,800 giant pandas left in the wild, living mainly in bamboo forest in the mountains of western China, according to environmental group WWF.]]>
1/14/2019 12:17:03 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism Ministry's efforts to increase number of tourists in 2018]]>
In February 2018, the Ministry of Tourism trained workers in the field of occupational safety and health in various
governorates, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (WTO), to modernize the standards and conduct a digital examination of hotels.

An Egyptian international consortium has been recruited to internationally promote Egypt as a touristic destination, represented by the IPG / MCN Group and Egypt's Synergy Company; the promotional campaign for Egyptian tourism was launched during the participation in London International Tourism Exchange

Due to the importance of social networking sites and their impact on the global tourism movement, the ministry has used a number of social media platforms and influential media outlets to broadcast positive messages about Egypt.

It is worth mentioning that the board of directors of the tourist chamber started to announce plans to train reception employees who deal directly with tourists, whether in hotels or tourism companies, to maintain the quality of services provided to tourists.

A set of objectives were set for 2019, including the restructuring of the management and strategies of tourism companies, the introduction of modern technology in management targeting all employees of companies, and linking the employment of any individual in the field of tourism to specific training programs.

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1/13/2019 6:51:06 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandria: Egyptians’ winter retreat]]>
Despite the rising popularity of other destinations on the North Coast and Resorts in the Red sea; Alex is still the favorite among Egyptian families.

It is not only a summer resort but also a winter one; significant amounts of people head there in the winter season to enjoy its chilly weather and walk along its beaches in the rain.

There is a set of series reflect the beauty and fabulousness of Alexandria in winter such as zayzinia and Al nawa that left marvelous moments in the Egyptian minds.

Moreover, Alexandria is considered to be a source of inspiration to a number of writers, most prominently Naguib Mahfouz. It inspired Mahfouzwhen he was having his coffee on his favorite café Delices; this is where he got the idea of his landmark Miramar that became one of the timeless movies in the history of Cinema.

In addition, Greek poet, journalist and civil servant Cavafy who lived in Alexandria until his death and English poet David Lawrence who wrote about its charm weather and brilliant sites, making Alexandria feel like a poetic city.

Different Marathons are also held in public gardens and picnics including a weekly Marathon held every Friday morning.

Athletes, executive leaders, and officials take part in these Marathons which give youth an incentive to participate and engage in such useful activities.

Fishing is also among the many activities that can be enjoyed in Alexandria.

“Unprofessionalfishermen gather in different places in Alex such as Bahri region, Stanley Bridge, and Abu Qir heading to Nelson’s Island with small boats.” Mohamed Youssef, fisherman, said.

“Fishermen begin their work from the morning until the evening in Abu Qir, which is known for its abundance of fish. Abu Qir is an open region where fish appear on surface in certain periods of time; fishermen know the timeframe within which they should fish,” Youssef added.

While it is commonly known for people to drink hot beverages to warm them up during the winter season, Alexandrians tend to eat ice creams to feel the atmosphere of cold and winter; just like as Amr Diab did in his unforgivable movie “Ice Cream Fe Gelm”.

Sweet potato is the favorite dessertEgyptians tend to eat in winter. Horse and buggy is the main way of transportation; tourists particularly ride it to take photos.

Although it is always reported that winter is full of negative vibes and depression, winter in Alex is totally different: It cheers people up, reduces stress and tension and other negative emotions.

Some hotel there are named after several celebrities, such as Om Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Waheb, Farid al-Atrash; they were named after these celebrities because they tended to take to these hotel as their own resort, a place to relax and calm.

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1/11/2019 1:48:16 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host CORSIA Aviation workshop on April 7, 8]]>
The CORSIA plan aims to highlight the objectives of international standards and recommended practices, and shed light on tools for implementing the plan regarding the emissions of gases during international flights.

It also enables participants to identify timetables for implementing the plan, and provides the tools of adapting to national regulatory frameworks set by CORSIA, such as monitoring and reporting.

“The preparation of international standards and recommended practices regarding the CORSIA plan in such a rapid manner should be seen as evidence that the plan is viewed as a key priority for mitigating the impact of climate change witnessed by numerous countries,” said the president of FAO’s Governing Council.

Director of the Air Transport Department stressed that the ACT CORSIA initiative will help countries to work together to provide training to local MRV experts and provide tools of implementing the plan, which will enable the participants to adapt to their national regulatory framework as needed.

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1/9/2019 7:08:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to arrange sightseeing tours for African Cup teams, delegations]]>
The Tourism committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives declared that Egypt is safe to host any major international event, and is also safe as a touristic destination.

In addition, a member of the Egyptian House of Representatives requested both the Ministries of Antiquities and Tourism to arrange a touristic program for the visiting teams and expeditions during the tournament.

A number of members of the Tourism Committee in the House of Representatives confirmed that Egypt's victory in organizing the 2019 African Nations Cup reflects a certificate of international confidence in the country's security and stability, pointing out that the stability existing in Egypt has played a major role in winning the honor of organizing a big event such as the African Cup of Nations.

Mohamed Abdu, member of the touristic committee in the House of Representatives declared to YOUM7 that organizing the CAF in Egypt is considered a huge event, and that Egypt happily welcomes all the African expeditions. Abdu declared that such an event has a positive impact in reviving the Egyptian tourism sector.

Abdu further requested both the Ministries of Antiquities and Tourism to set a touristic and entertainment program for the visiting expeditions to visit touristic hot spots in Egypt such as the Pyramids in Giza, Grand Egyptian Museum and other historical mosques in Cairo.

The MP further stated that the Ministry of Antiquities, Tourism and Interior should cooperate together in preparation for the big event, and to clear and secure the paths for the visiting teams while they visit the country.

Hayam Halawa, a member of the Tourism Committee in the House of Representatives explained that the government should put in place a complete plan to organize a tournament worthy of the name of Egypt, where the institutions of the state and the people must unite to prepare for this event.

"We will organize a wonderful and decent welcoming for all participating teams, and we should exploit this event economically and tourism."

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1/8/2019 7:28:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ranks second as cruise destination in 2019 ]]>
The agency mentioned that the itineraries of luxury lines will mostly include stops in the country. It named the ocean lines Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Silversea as they will announce visits to Safaga port city as well as Luxor by bus from the Red Sea governorate in the spring and fall.

Bloomberg also highlighted Nile cruises that consist of stops in Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo naming the river line Oberoi Philae.

Luxor and Aswan are Egypt’s main archaeological cities, while the Red Sea and South Sinai are the country’s main destinations for diving, snorkeling, beach tourism, and desert safari.

The world's biggest travel publisher, Lonely Planet, named Egypt the most valuable destination of 2019 on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The website specified Southern Nile Valley, as one of Egypt’s best places to travel to, stressing that its near-incomparable historical itinerary represents a superb deal for travelers in 2019.

“Egypt’s Southern Nile Valley is the flag-bearer for the country’s return to travel’s super league, and its near-incomparable historical itinerary represents a superb deal for travelers in 2019. For starters, world-class ancient sites hugging the Nile south from Luxor to Aswan are accessible for a few dollars,” Lonely Planet stated on its website.

The publisher added, “If you’re on a cruise, food and land transport will be included; otherwise, it’s easy to make inexpensive arrangements for all but a handful of big-ticket temples and tombs, which are more than worth the admission price themselves.”

In September, Egypt ranked first among the most visited tourist destinations in Africa by Chinese tourists, according to the Chinese tourists network.
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1/7/2019 12:26:24 PM
<![CDATA[50% discount on Cairo's river-bus trips in Christmas celebrations]]>
All citizens will pay half ticket on Monday for all cruises via the Cairo river bus.
The authority’s fleet will be devoted for serving churches, gardens, recreation parks, where ravelers head to celebrate Christmas and enjoy outings with their families and friends.

The head of the authority, Rizq Ali told Egypt Today assured the maintenance of 17 river buses and 200 mini buses, ahead of the celebrations.

On the other hand, the Interior Ministry announced beefing up security measures to secure ravelers and worshippers during Christmas celebrations. ]]>
1/6/2019 11:51:48 AM
<![CDATA[Italian Amb. to Egypt Cairo, wife visited Abu Simbel temples, Saturday]]>
They also enjoyed visiting a set of touristic destinations in Egypt during their Christmas vacation.

Gantini expressed his happiness and glory to visit such a unique place where he held a number of meetings with the Major Ahmed Ibrahim, the Governor of Aswan, during which they discussed some of investment projects between Italy and Egypt regarding tourism.

Such a visit is shown to be a call for peace, love, stability and serenity.

This call for peace and love is also highlighted by the visit of the Belgium Royal family to Egypt; they were warmly welcomed, spent a lovely time visiting incredible sites.

Zahi Hawass reflected it in a statement, “Egypt is safe; the Belgium Royal family visit to Egypt to spend their annual vacation here is undoubted evidence that Egypt is the best place to visit,” Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian archaeologist, said.

The Egyptologist, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, stated in as statement after the end of the Belgium Royal Family visit to Egypt, “I accompanied the royal family throughout their visit to the most impressive archaeological sites, such as Aswan, Luxor, and Pyramids, in addition to Wadi El Melouk, the tomb of the King Ramesses VIII, and Thutmose II; the husband of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut and the king Ramesses III.”

Moreover, Hawass accompanied them in a touristic tour to see the tomb of Tutankhamun, Ramesses VI, and Seti I, as well as the western valley where the tomb of Amenhotep III and the King Ay locate.

Furthermore, Hawass denoted a book recounting the life of Noble tombs in the western bank in Luxor to the King Felipe and two books to his children.

He also gave his discovery helmet, which he wore during his most prominent archeological discoveries, to the King as a gift.
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1/5/2019 4:25:05 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt Tops 2019 travel rankings]]>
All four news sites have ranked Egypt as a top holiday destination during 2019.

CNN Travel

On January 4, 2019, CNN Travel published their annual list of top destinations for the year, placing Egypt in Second place, after Christchurch, New Zealand.

Despite the recent terrorist attack, CNN explains, 2019 will be different.

“So what's different in 2019?” writes CNN.

“Well, while the sand has been settling on deserted classic monuments, Egyptologists have been brushing it gently aside elsewhere to discover a litany of exciting finds, many of which are now being opened to the public,” answers CNN.

As for the safety concerns, CNN writes, “And while safety concerns persist, hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings take place without incident each year. Likewise, Egypt's main Red Sea resorts are considered safe.”

Positively, CNN expects Egypt to receive many more tourists in the run up to its 2020 opening of its Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Independent

Cairo tops the British Independent’s top ten cities to visit in 2019.

Egypt has lots of treasures that are world admired such as the Greatest Egyptian Museum that cost $ one billion, pointed out the Independent.

The Journal further stated that the museum will attach the whole set of Tutankhauman Tomb for the first time.

Cairo is rich with the fabulous Nile cruises and incredible destinations that you have to see.

Matera, the Italian city, ranked second in Independent’s list, which described it as the capital of European culture.

Perth, the Australian city, ranked third, while Lyon, the French city, came in fourth and Chengdu, in China, came fifth.

The Sun

BRITS have shunned Benidorm in favour of alternative destinations such as … Egypt this year,” wrote British news site “The Sun” on January 4, 2019.

The Sun cites Hosbec’s statistics that show that hotels have seen an eight percent fall in British tourists. Instead of heading to Spain, more Brits are not heading towards Egypt and Turkey due to them being cheaper.

“Last year, around 319,000 British nationals visited Egypt,” writes The Sun.


Vancouver Sun

“King Tutankhamun’s complete museum collection — among 100,000 artifacts in total and some of which have never been seen in public — are housed in the newly opened, $1 billion Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) that overlooks the pyramids of Giza, in greater Cairo,” writes Canada’s Vancouver Sun.

Ranked third on its list, Egypt is actually number one, according to the news site, for tourists who are interested in art, history and ancient life.

“If art, history and the grand scope of ancient life is your balm, this is your happy place,” the news site writes in reference to Egypt.

“Egypt has had its share of travel warnings in the past since the Arab Spring of 2011, but like any metropolis, it is safe as long as you are aware and avoid areas that are off limits, such as the Sinai Peninsula, and don’t wander off into the desert unaccompanied. The GEM is the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization. King Tutankhamun’s sandals, more than 3,500 years old, have been restored using special processed developed specifically for this task.”

Egypt’s strategy to attract more tourists

In an interview with Manus Cranny and Tracy Alloway on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East” on November 8, Mashat revealed that Egypt has witnessed a “steep rebound” in the tourism industry, citing the significant increase in the influx of tourists.

Mashat spoke of tourism’s future, its prospects and the work that the government is doing to get the industry back on its feet. She also revealed, “At the end of this month in Parliament, I will be announcing E-Trip: Egypt Reform Program”

Shortly after, Mashat revealed the E-Trip at a Luncheon at the American Chamber of Commerce. The five-pillar strategy is designed to reform and regulate the industry, as well as to ensure its sustainability.

The five pillars start of at an area that has been criticized over and over again by Egyptians and experts, as well as the minister herself: Administrative and legislative reform. Earlier this year, while speaking to more than 10 experts about the problem in the industry, they had all agreed that there is a problem with professionalism and that most workers are not trained well enough to deal with tourists.

Chairman and CEO of Emeco Travel, former head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation and former Chairman of Tourism Chambers Elhamy El-Zayat explains that one of the top priorities in the tourism sector for the next period is training. El-Zayat adds that because there is no language-proficiency requirement for most hospitality-degree admissions, graduates are often left with poor English skills.

He adds that funds do exist to train people working in the sector, indicating that money for training has been allocated ever since former Minister of Tourism Fouad Sultan (1985-1993) was in office. To reach a higher level of service and communicate better with tourists, El-Zayat, Counsellor to the Minister of Tourism Walid El-Batouty and Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB) Hisham el-Demery all call for training.

“We need to make sure that people have a good time. Traveling is an experience. You have to make sure that when tourists come, they will find good English, service and information. It is the guide’s role to show the best of Egypt,” says El-Batouty. “Tour guides are in a great position to generate more business for themselves and for the country by showing the best of Egypt. A guide makes it or breaks it.”

In addition to language and technical abilities, Magdy Saleh, the head of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism in Hurghada says there’s a need to improve the organization of services offered to tourists. He explains, for instance, that the crowds of taxi drivers at Cairo International Airport’s arrival halls is a chaotic scene for someone stepping out of the airport to be greeted by flocks of drivers shouting randomly at him. “There is need for a policy to organise taxis at the airport better,” he adds. Similarly, Demery would love to see “a global awareness campaign on how to treat tourists.”

Consequently, the minister has taken a positive step forward and moved towards giving people vocational training, educating them to enable them to deal with tourists well, and teaching them proper etiquette for dealing with visitors. The ministry will look to hire more high-quality professionals who are able to manage work. Moreover, vocational training will be given to those who work in the industry.

The second pillar is one that has also been on the forefront of people’s minds over the past two years: Rebranding Egypt. All experts unanimously said that there is an urgent need to maximise the types of tourism programs for an uptick in tourist inflows to occur. “We need to introduce new types of tourism including medical, the Holy Family and MICE [meeting, incentive, conference and events],” Demery told us.

Similarly, Saleh calls for an increase in religious events and festivals to attract tourists. “We have forgotten that Egypt is the land of religions,” he says. “Between Mount Moses, the Holy Family tour, and many other heavenly locations in Egypt, Egypt has the potential to rebrand itself from being [solely] a beach-and-monument destination.”

Batouty explains that we need new ideas, and we need to be updated to revive the tourism sectors, citing two new initiatives that have attracted many guests so far. Run by Art D’Egypte’s founder Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, the first initiative is “Eternal Light. Something Old, Something New,” which took place at the Egyptian Museum, and managed to gain much interest. The exhibition displayed 16 artworks of Egypt’s most prominent contemporary artists, creating a wonderful contrast against the timeless backdrop of artefacts in the museum. Displayed pieces were influenced by ancient Egypt’s art and artists, like Mohamed Abla.

Through social media platforms and social media influencers and bloggers, international tourism campaigns and travel Expos, the tourism is working to rebrand the tourism industry in Egypt as a “responsible choice for eco-friendly tourists” and one that “economically empowers women,” revealed the Tourism Minister.

The third pillar is concerned with fining new markets and diversifying the base from which tourists come to visit Egypt, in addition to beefing up cooperations, focused on tourism, with countries that are considered well-established markets.

The fourth pillar concerns upgrading the hospitability infrastructure. To do so, the Tourism Ministry has decided to launch a private equity find. This fund will also be used to upgrade hotels and resorts that have gone out of style or need to be revamped; an issue that experts we spoke to also brought up.

Concerning this pillar, experts had previously told us that to ensure that the sector keeps growing and accommodate the expected increase in tourist inflows, El-Zayat believes that investors should be allowed to take loans from Egyptian banks. The fact that the door was shut in recent years, he explains, led many investors to downsize their businesses, leaving many unemployed. To maintain the growing tourism sector, investors should be able to rely on banks when needed, El-Zayat suggests.

Calls of increased high-quality investments also came from El-Batouty, who indicates that good investments always make money for Egypt, as well as for the investor. El-Batouty gave Cosmos, an Egypt-based travel company that partners with Viking USA, as a successful model that played a role in tourists’ return to Egypt by providing high-quality services, portraying a positive image of tourism in Egypt.

The fifth, and final pillar, concerns an upgrade to the legislative framework that governs the industry as of right now. This is something that has been on Mashat’s mind for a while: During her first meeting with investors in the tourism sector, Rania El-Mashat, the new minister of tourism, has indicated that she is set on building a newer administrative framework for the sector to allow processes to go smoother and quicker. El-Mashat said that she intends to build a system that would move the sector forward, leading it to be a case study for the international community to take lessons from.

Building on this, Demery told us that there are many great ideas and that people are energetic and enthusiastic to implement them, but to do that, bureaucracy needs to be addressed and the processes need to be upgraded. To keep up with the digital world today, one needs to take actions quicker and keep up with trends, he says, and so we need to be constantly updating our systems to keep up with international trends and needs.

Having spoken to sources who called the industry highly bureaucratic, advising that less bureaucracy would help the industry flourish, it sure is a relief to see the fifth pillar of the strategic plan aim to remove bureaucracy and better the legislative framework. The new framework will be an update to a framework that has not been updated in about 40 years, and will see the ministry itself propose ideas for legislative changes.

Additional Reporting: Fatma El-Bakry
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1/5/2019 3:06:41 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo inquires about part of Great Pyramid planned to be displayed at Scottish museum]]>
Supervisor General of Egypt's Antiquities Repatriation Department Shaaban Abdel Gawad said on Thursday that the rare block of white limestone is set to go on display on February 8 at an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh city.

Abdel Gawad’s remarks, which came in a statement by the Ministry of Antiquities, were made in response to reports published by some foreign newspapers about displaying the rare stone from King Khufu’s pyramid, along with other ancient Egyptian artifacts, at the Scottish museum.

The Egyptian law criminalizes antiquities’ smuggling and does not allow exporting them, the official said.

If it is proven that the ancient block was looted and smuggled outside Egypt, all necessary measures will be taken to restore it, he stressed.
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1/4/2019 5:08:37 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandria's hotels' occupancy rate hits 98%: official]]>
In an interview with Egypt Today, Menestarely said that this includes all hotels in Alexandria, including Borg al-Arab hotels. He added that such rise in occupation rate will continue until the Coptic Christmas day which falls on January 7.

Alexandria currently has a total of 4,200 hotel rooms, Menestarely said, adding that this number is going to rise by the end of 2019, as new hotels are set to be opened.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt increased by 41 percent in the first half of 2018 to 5.061 million tourists, Reuters reported, while the tourism sector revenues increased by 77 percent in the same period to $4.791 million.

In September, Egypt ranked first among the most visited tourist destinations in Africa by Chinese tourists, according to the Chinese tourists network.

Also, Egypt has been announced as the fastest growing tourist destination in terms of year-on-year percentage increase of visitors, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s 2018 release on global travel and tourism.

The annual report showed that Egypt welcomed about 8.5 million tourists during 2017 with a 55.1 percent increase, compared to the same period of 2016. ]]>
1/3/2019 2:23:22 PM
<![CDATA[PM directs to quickly finish renovation of Djoser Pyramid]]>
This came during Madbouli's visit on Tuesday to Saqqara archaeological area to stand on the progress done in the renovation projects there.

Madbouli was accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled el Anani, Giza Governor Ahmed Rashid and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Moustafa Waziri.

The Pyramid of Djoser (or Djeser and Zoser), or Step Pyramid is an archaeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis northwest of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. The earliest colossal stone building in Egypt, it was built in the 27th century BC during the Third Dynasty for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by his vizier, Imhotep. The pyramid is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration.

The pyramid consisted of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another in what were clearly revisions and developments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62.5 metres (205 ft) tall, with a base of 109 m × 121 m (358 ft × 397 ft) and was clad in polished white limestone.(MENA)]]>
1/2/2019 3:03:54 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo receives Kuwaiti travelers to celebrate New Year's Eve]]>
When winter season is upon us, we usually find ourselves searching for winter destinations and wonderlands. Egypt is one of the most popular and oldest tourist destinations throughout the world, especially in winter, as it is the time when some Egyptian cities truly shine.

Here are the Egyptian cities which look more stunning in winter.

Luxor

Luxor and Aswan cities are located in southern Egypt. They have nearly half of the world’s monuments and they are the best place to spend your vacation, especially in the winter, because of their warm weather throughout the year; the sun rises up to 11 hours a day during summer, and rises for more than 8 hours a day in winter.

Aswan

Aswan was known as Syene during ancient Egypt which means market because it was located on the main trade route between Egypt and the southern lands. After the construction of the High Dam, Nubians fled to Aswan after water flooded their homeland. Therefore, this city is rich with Nubian culture.
Sharm El-Sheikh

It is a resort town in the southern coast of Sinai Peninsula. Sharm El-Sheikh is one of the world’s extraordinary diving destinations. It is rather hot in summer and warm in winter, which leads it to be one of the most attractive cities in Egypt, especially in winter.

Dahab

Dahab means gold in Arabic. The city derived its name from its yellow shiny sand. It is the second most treasured diving destination in south Sinai after Sharm El-Sheikh.]]>
1/1/2019 4:39:15 PM
<![CDATA[Sharm El-Luli tops TripAdvisor’s list for Mideast’s 10 best beaches]]>
Sharm El Luli beach, located in Wadi El Gamal National Park at the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam, is distinguished by crystal-clear water, white sand and absence of rocks.

In 2017, the beach ranked the third on the same list and the eighth in 2016.

luli
Sharm el-Luli beach in Marsa Alam - TripAdvisor


El-Luli was one of the best 25 beaches in the world in 2018, ranked the 22nd position, according to TripAdvisor website, the world’s largest travel site.

Photos of the touristic destination on the website were visited by more than 1,590 viewers, who expressed their admiration for the place; “an excellent picture postcard location; excellent snorkeling with 2 reefs to swim; good range of fish,” Chris S from Ashford town in the county of Kent, England wrote on Friday.

“Marsa Alalam city is distinguished by spotless beaches and beautiful nature of white flat sand that overlooks beautiful series of mountains,” said Ashraf Abadi, head of a diving center at the city.

luli11
Sharm el-Luli beach in Marsa Alam - TripAdvisor


“The park and its beaches are favorable tourist destinations for Italians and Germans,” said Ahmed Ghalab, head of Red Sea Natural Reserves.

He added that the Natural Reserves Administration seeks to announce Wadi El Gamal National Park a world heritage reserve, as it is enriched with biodiversity and includes a Roman-era temple.

TripAdvisor is accessed by around 390 million visitors in 49 markets worldwide every month, according to the website’s data.


Additional reporting by Emad Arafa from the Red Sea Governorate





]]>
12/31/2018 4:06:57 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir, AEGEAN Airlines expand codeshare agreement]]>
The accord has been expanded, so EgyptAir clients will be able to book tickets to travel to Marseille via Athens airport, EgyptAir Airlines Chairman Ashraf el-Khouly said on Sunday.
Tickets for the new route are available now on EgyptAir's website, he added.

Other routes had been already opened for the clients including Athens to Thessaloniki, Rodhos-Heraklion and Chania.

The codeshare agreement was signed in 2013.
]]>
12/31/2018 11:50:06 AM
<![CDATA[ 2018 Accomplishment: Egypt’s Tourism Ministry revives industry]]>
Despite recently suffering from a terrorist bus attack, which claimed the lives of three tourists and one Egyptian individual, plans for the new year are still on-going and tourists are still arriving in Egypt to enjoy the end of year celebrations.

The efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, which has faced many challenges and setbacks, cannot go unnoticed. Thus, Egypt Today delves into the details of the key strategies the Ministry of Tourism used to bring back tourists to Egypt.

Visiting Egypt

In January 2018, alone, Egypt saw 712,000 tourists come into the country, according to Trading Economics, the online statistics site. Moreover, tourism in the first half of 2018 jumped by some 77 percent to $4.8 billion, compared to the same period in 2016, a government official told Reuters late August 2018, adding that the number of tourists visiting Egypt saw a year-on-year increase of 41 percent, reaching about 5 million. “Indicators suggest the sector will earn about $9 billion by the end of this year”, he said. The official also stated that most tourists are arriving from Western Europe, especially Italy and Germany, and the Ukraine.

In 2017, 8.3 million tourists visited Egypt, according to official figures, and this number, according to experts and international news sites, is expected to exceed 8 million, and then some, by the end of 2018. This will make at least a 10 percent year-on-year increase from 2017; 2017 had seen about 50 percent year-on-year increase from 2016’s figures.

More recently, a report by Forbes argued that Egypt’s stability and its bettering economic situation is attracting more and more tourists; the article hailed Egypt as a top destination for 2018. “Today, the country is stable and ready to welcome travellers back,” writes Allison Diliengro, citing its “passionate residents” with their welcoming spirits.

Later on, Laurie Werner, unique travel experiences specialist at Forbes, wrote in a report, “In my last visit to Egypt I enjoyed lots of privileges and benefits in comparison to my former visit to Egypt in 2007.”

“During my former visit, the tension and security forces were everywhere; we were warned that we might undergo some threats especially in our visit to Luxor. Yet, after the Arab Spring in 2011, these threats were not essential because tourism reduced to a crawl. But now, the several years of general stability after Egyptian President Sisi came to office all are ended.”

In addition, Forbes recorded that tourism rate increased up to 50 percent compared to last year.

“I stay tuned to the opening of the Great Egyptian Museum that will be officially opened in 2020. I am impatient to see all the unique monuments, distinguished tombstones and new archaeological discoveries,” Werner said.

She calls the entire world to visit Egypt for its incredible places, fabulous hospitality and lovely people. Furthermore, Werner recommended a set of places to visit such as Khan el-Kalalili, Philae temple, El Gouna and Aswan.

Similarly, an article published by Reuters in April 2018 shows that tourism revenues went up from $1.256 billion in the first quarter of 2017 to $2.27 billion during the same period in 2018. Conforming this, al-Mashat recently stated that the number of tourists entering Egypt has increased by 30 percent during the first three months of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017.

In statements to Reuters, Mohab Ghali, Hilton's Vice President Operations for Egypt and North Africa, pointed out that hotel bookings increased between 20 percent and 25 percent during 2017. Hilton Worldwide intends to nearly double the number of its hotels in Egypt within seven to 10 years. Similarly, Elhamy Ramzy, the assistant director of sales and marketing at The Nile-Ritz Carlton, tells us that the hotel had a 72 percent occupation rate throughout 2017 and that 2018’s numbers look even better so far.

Extensive campaigns and policies launched by private and public sectors throughout the past year have led tourism revenues to record a seven-year high of $3.5 billion during the first seven months of 2017, a remarkable 170 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. From promoting medical and religious tourism to facilitating international conferences and employing social media and influencers marketing methods, we look back at what has been done in the past months to bring the much-needed tourism industry back on the world map.

Newly-announced E-Trip

In an interview with Manus Cranny and Tracy Alloway on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East” on November 8, Minister of Tourism Rania El-Mashat reaveled that Egypt has witnessed a “steep rebound” in the tourism industry, citing the significant increase in the influx of tourists.

Mashat spoke of tourism’s future, its prospects and the work that the government is doing to get the industry back on its feet. She also revealed, “At the end of this month in Parliament, I will be announcing E-Trip: Egypt Reform Program”

Shortly after, Mashat revealed the E-Trip at a Luncheon at the American Chamber of Commerce. The five-pillar strategy is designed to reform and regulate the industry, as well as to ensure its sustainability.

The five pillars start of at an area that has been criticized over and over again by Egyptians and experts, as well as the minister herself: Administrative and legislative reform. The ministry will look to hire more high-quality professionals who are able to manage work. Moreover, vocational training will be given to those who work in the industry. Earlier this year, while speaking to more than 10 experts about the problem in the industry, they had all agreed that there is a problem with professionalism and that most workers are not trained well enough to deal with tourists. Consequently, the minister has taken a positive step forward and moved towards giving people vocational training, educating them to enable them to deal with tourists well, and teaching them proper etiquette for dealing with visitors.

The second pillar is one that has also been on the forefront of people’s minds over the past two years: Rebranding Egypt. Through social media platforms and social media influencers and bloggers, international tourism campaigns and travel Expos, the tourism is working to rebrand the tourism industry in Egypt as a “responsible choice for eco-friendly tourists” and one that “economically empowers women,” revealed the Tourism Minister.

The third pillar is concerned with fining new markets and diversifying the base from which tourists come to visit Egypt, in addition to beefing up cooperations, focused on tourism, with countries that are considered well-established markets.

The fourth pillar concerns upgrading the hospitability infrastructure. To do so, the Tourism Ministry has decided to launch a private equity find. This fund will also be used to upgrade hotels and resorts that have gone out of style or need to be revamped; an issue that experts we spoke to also brought up.

The fifth, and final pillar, concerns an upgrade to the legislative framework that governs the industry as of right now. Having spoken to sources who called the industry highly bureaucratic, advising that less bureaucracy would help the industry flourish, it sure is a relief to see the fifth pillar of the strategic plan aim to remove bureaucracy and better the legislative framework. The new framework will be an update to a framework that has not been updated in about 40 years, and will see the ministry itself propose ideas for legislative changes.

Medical tourism: The Hepatitis C Campaign

Promoted by football stars Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, Egypt launched Tour ‘n’ Cure in May 2016 to help the estimated 71 million people suffering from the disease worldwide. In Egypt alone, Hepatitis C kills some 40,000 people annually. It has also decreased Egypt’s GDP growth by more than 1.5 percent over the past two years; however, the government sees that it is their responsibility to take care of Hepatitis C patients, after years of national struggle with the illness.

For $7,000 (€6,100), patients can spend a week in Egypt receiving the treatment for the virus and touring the country. The program’s Managing Director Mostafa El Sayed explains that this price includes flights, a five-star accommodation, medical analysis, drugs and three days of tours. Visitors can choose to spend their sightseeing days in Cairo, Luxor or Sharm el-Sheikh. To ensure that the largest possible number of people is treated, a regional treatment hub was also set up in Moldova.

Sherine Helmy, CEO of Pharco, the company manufacturing the lion’s share of the generic drugs used to treat the virus in Egypt, explains that, “last year we covered around 700,000 patients, but we are ready to produce in the millions. Our plan is to cure 37 percent of patients worldwide by 2030.” This initiative aimed to better Egypt’s image before the international community, increase the flow of tourists to Egypt by reviving medical tourism in the country, and to also provide cheaper, guaranteed medication, all the while ensuring patients maintain a high morale.

Speaking about the benefits of the program, Tim Coleman, documentary filmmaker and photographer, indicates that for him, it was a life-or-death situation. He had already undergone two rounds of treatment without success, and was low on the list to receive the drugs from the National Health Service. The only viable option left was to pay £120,000 ($156,450) for the drugs in the UK. Two years ago, Coleman saw a Tour ‘n’ Cure advertisement in an inflight magazine. He made the phone call as soon as he got to Cairo. Today, he is entirely virus free.

“It is truly miraculous, what [Egypt has] managed to do,” he says. “It’s such a success story. The whole thing is something Egyptians can be really proud of.”

The program showcased Egyptian hospitality, medical development and Egypt in the most positive light possible, with millions recognising the movement as one of the best worldwide.

Building a reputation as a MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, and Events) destination: WYF, BPW International and GFF

Launched in 2017 for the first time, the World Youth Forum (WYF) got delegates talking about concerns of youth and the challenges facing them, while also boosting tourism.

The conference brought together 3,000 attendees, represented by 60 delegations. The seven-day gathering witnesses the participation of official youth representatives over 18 years of age, leaders of various youth networks, heads of state, media figures and around 250 young Egyptian expats. It was held under the slogan “We Need to Talk,” sending messages of peace, prosperity, development and the importance of human collaboration to the entire world.

In an interview with Egypt Today, popstar Cheb Khaled said that this forum managed to show the whole world the real image of Egypt, particularly as the forum was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, the city of peace.

The forum has led to a positive upsurge in tourist inflows, particularly younger ones, to Egypt in general, but also the Red Sea in particular. Tourism in Sharm al-Sheikh witnessed a remarkable recovery after the forum, according to the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA).

Not only did the youth forum increase tourism, it also did not cost Egypt anything, as a group of sponsors, including banks, hotels and Egypt Air, funded the event.

The Business and Professional Women International (BPW International) conference had a similar effect on Egyptian tourism. Held in Greater Cairo, the forum brought together over a thousand globally influential figures to discuss women’s entrepreneurship and economic development. The conference showcased Egypt’s Great Pyramids, as well as many other locations, where important ceremonies were held under the agenda. Posted on a myriad of social media accounts, the pictures promoted the country and portrayed a safer side of it than the one stereotypically depicted in the media.

The Gouna International Film Festival (GFF) was yet another opportunity to promote tourism by showing another side of Egypt to the world. “The more visibility Egypt enjoys globally, especially when it comes to matters of art and culture, the better its image around the whole world. The world has a prevailing impression of Egypt, and that impression shows Egypt as plagued with terrorism,” Samih Sawiris, the founder of Orascom Developments and the man behind El Gouna, had told Egypt Today after the event. “The world needs to get other messages from Egypt, and news about it should not always be negative. The world needs to know there are positive news.”

Renewing tourism in Egypt: Religious tourism

“The Holy Family came to Egypt, travelling for about three-and-a-half years across the country. What we have done is—and this project is not recent, we started it about two or three years ago— we picked eight locations in four cities and we readied them from the infrastructure perspective to receive the customers, clients and tourists,” Hesham El-Demery, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, had told Egypt Today last April.

To promote the tour, in collaboration with Egyptian authorities, Pope Francis visited Egypt later in April 2017, carried out mass and acknowledged the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt as an official Christian pilgrimage. This announcement puts the Holy Family tour on equal footing to Fatima in Portugal, suggesting that thousands of Christian tourists would visit Egypt.

Marketing campaigns worldwide

Multiple marketing campaigns have launched since 2015, most prominently the “This is Egypt” campaign. Other important campaigns include the roadshows in four Indian cities, sponsoring CNN News reports, the Ramadan campaign and the meetings in Ukraine, Poland and Germany.

Launched on December 19, 2015, “This is Egypt” relied on Egyptians to use the hashtag #thisisegypt to showcase their own country. Departing from traditional destinations that tourists are familiar with, the campaign was able to portray Egyptian kindness, hidden gems and the authentic Egyptian culture. The digital, peer-to-peer advocacy campaign has been supported by the likes of Yanni and Morgan Freeman, among others.

“Egypt has transformed as a nation in the past four years, and unfortunately the world does not always see our country the same way we do…we need to close that perception gap… There is so much the world has yet to discover about our country,” former Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou previously told Egypt Today. “With ‘This is Egypt,’ we will work with citizens motivated by pride and patriotism, as well as with SMEs offering unique experiences, social media influencers, and those who can create interesting and compelling content that will show their local perspective. We want to highlight the authentic local experiences that Egypt’s diverse tourism offering has to offer. We are going to show travellers there is more to Egypt than sun, sand and sea.”

Billboards displaying promotional material from the tourism campaign have been raised in countries worldwide, including the Russia, Japan, the UK and other European countries, attracting thousands of tourists to come to Egypt.

The ‘This is Egypt” promotional campaign, directed by advertising agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT), won a Gold Effie Award in the Travel, Tourism and Transportation category and the Silver Effie Award in the Renaissance category, according to the Effie awards’ website.

Roadshows by Egyptian officials to four Indian cities, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Bengaluru, were also a huge success. They were attended by a delegation of Egyptian travel trade companies who interacted with travel trade members in Mumbai. As a result of this trip, according to Demery, Indian tourist arrivals to Egypt increased by about 30 percent in the first quarter of 2017. He further pointed out that Indian tourist nights increased by 185 percent in the first quarter of 2017, which saw 148,000 Indian tourists, compared to only 80,000 in the same period in 2016.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism partnered up with CNN to launch a campaign promoting Egypt. Former tourism minister Yehia Rashed pointed out the importance of this step, “[Egypt] considers the partnership with CNN a strong step on our path towards promoting tourism in international markets, especially through reputable media institutions like CNN. This partnership helps us fulfil part of an international promotion strategy through a strong outlet for the target audience.”

The Ramadan campaign promoted Egypt, according to Demery, in several Arab countries during the holy month of Ramadan in 2017, namely Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan and Gulf countries. This led to a rise in Arabs coming to Egypt, particularly Cairo.

Led by Demery, the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) launched a winter tourism promotion in September 2017. The campaign, which targeted Ukraine, Poland and Germany, aimed to connect tour operators and travel agencies in the Egypt and three countries, respectively. Demery visited the three countries to promote Egypt’s touristic sites and “invade new markets,” as he put it. At the end of his visit to Ukraine, there was an increase in Ukranian winter bookings for the year 2018 by about 30 percent year-on-year. His trips to Poland and Germany saw similar success, with the former arranging a media visit to Egypt to stimulate Polish tourism to Egypt, and the latter holding workshops to encourage travel to Egypt.

Building new attractions and restoring old ones

To encourage the return of tourism over the last couple of years, there has been a movement to build new attractions and tourist-friendly locations for new tourists to see, and recurring tourists to discover. Simultaneously, there has been a move to fix deteriorating infrastructure to save beautiful, old locations and buildings.

Portuguese singer and sister to footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Katia Aveiro, performed with great enthusiasm at the opening ceremony of Al-batros Aqua Park Hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh, the largest water park in Egypt. Egyptian businessman Kamel Abo Ali, head of the Red Sea Tourism Investment Association, pointed out that this visit is vital to tourism’s revival as it gives a message to tourists and investors from all over the world that Egypt is safe, especially as Ronaldo’s family is followed on social media platforms by millions of fans.

While building the new locations, the government also ensured that deteriorating hotels and touristic locations are fixed. Commenting on this, Demery explained that, after the 2011 revolution, the country was politically and economically unstable, and so, touristic infrastructure was neglected. Now that Egypt is politically and economically stable, a recent move is emerging to save deteriorating buildings. This, according to Demery, has prepared the country to deal with the expected increase in tourists over the next couple of years. According to a report by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), to ensure that deteriorating buildings are saved, the CBE-launched an initiative that assigned LE 5 billion to the renovation of hotels, resorts and touristic destinations across South Sinai and the Red Sea Governorate. The initiative aims to save hotels built since 1989.

Influencer Marketing

Egypt has, during the past couple of years, started marketing its touristic locations and tours by encouraging celebrities or other high-profile personalities who visited the country to talk about it. “We cannot keep saying Egypt is safe, Egypt is beautiful, Egypt is clean, Egypt is a very hospitable country – no. We will never change the perception if the others, the international celebrities, are not saying this on our behalf,” said Demery, conveying the idea that they need to hear it from people they like and who have experienced Egypt themselves.

Demery explained that they invested in trips, tours, and are now especially targeting people coming for the second or third time to speak about how Egypt has improved. Egypt’s ambassadors to the world, who all visited during 2017 and posted about the country to millions of their followers include, Will Smith, Kourtney Kardashian, Luis Fonsi, Lionel Messi and his sister, Chanel Iman and her boyfriend Sterling Shepherd, Ronaldinho, Rayen Giggs, Armin Van Burren, Dylan McDermont, Forest Whitaker, Adrien Brody, Hilary Swank and Nicolas Cage. Other Arab businessmen and investors, like Khalaf Al-Habtoor, also visited Egypt during 2017 and posted about it on social media.

Walid El Batouty, counsellor to the Minister of Tourism, Egyptologist, World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations’ representative for the Middle East & North Africa and a celebrity travel guide, told Egypt Today that celebrities speaking about their experience in Egypt presents great opportunities. El Batouty gave the example of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s decision to invite Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to dinner by the Great Pyramids of Giza. “The pictures were great, we needed the pictures, for us touristic folks. He was conducting his meeting with her in a great location. The lighting was great and so was the overall production,” El Batouty said. “The German market was cut off, but after this, it started gaining momentum again.”

In parallel to promoting the various attractions, the government has also worked to better security measures. In 2015, Egypt passed an assessment by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with inspectors from Dutch, Emirati, Italian and Russian airlines. It is also collaborating with delegations from the UK, Germany and Russia to implement the strongest security measures possible. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism installed security measures, including X-ray machines and security scanners, in all touristic resorts to secure holidaymakers.

Today, demand for travel to Egypt has picked up again “as customers look for quality and value,” as Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive of Thomas Cook, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “Egypt is a wonderful country, with great hotels, great beaches and nice people, and it’s really good value [for money]…People want to go back.”

Melania Trump visits Egypt

In her first solo international trip, U.S. first lady Melania Trump visited Africa to launch her campaign, ‘BE BEST’, which raises awareness on cyber bullying, the opioid crisis and child welfare more generally.

Wrapping up her five-day, four-country trip in Egypt, Mrs Trump, who also visited Ghana, Malawi and Kenya, was received by Egyptian First Lady Enitssar Amer at Cairo International Airport. The two then head off to the Presidential Palace, where they enjoyed a conversation over tea and met with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Later on in the afternoon, Mrs Trump, accompanied by Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, went to see the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx.

While there, the American first lady said, “It was a nice opportunity to see the pyramids in person, which are truly a historical treasure. We must always do our best to preserve such important historical sites, and I was so pleased to learn of the work that USAID has done to help with preservation efforts at the base of the Sphinx,” according to an official statement by the White House.

Giving a strong boost to Egypt’s tourism sector and marking Egypt as safe to those who have doubts or reservations about the country, Mrs. Trump’s visit can be seen as a green light for the rest of the world to feel safe about visiting Egypt; her visit is ushered in thousands of tourists, kicking the half-lazy tourism sector back
]]>
12/29/2018 11:44:33 AM
<![CDATA[New discoveries to boost tourism sector in Egypt: German Egyptologist]]>
During an interview with German broadcast DW, Raue added that these discoveries will give a boost to the tourism sector in Egypt.

"If you go to Egypt today, people respond appreciatively. It seems that a lot of people are considering going to Egypt as well at some point, because of these fascinating discoveries," he remarked.

Meanwhile, he warned that the urban sprawl and construction due to the growing Egyptian population threaten the cultural heritage.

"It is a race against time, and we’re grateful that we have the active support of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities," he added.

He further remarked that his international research team consists of Egyptian archaeologists and conservators, students and members of staff from the University of Leipzig alongside a geophysicist who comes from Poland.
]]>
12/25/2018 10:35:32 AM
<![CDATA[Red Sea governor invites Chinese tourists to visit Egypt]]>CAIRO - 24 December 2018: Red Sea governor Ahmed Abdullah has called on Chinese tourists to visit Red Sea resorts, pointing to a plan to lure more tourists from different parts of the world.


In an interview with Xinhua news agency Monday, Abdullah said the number of Chinese tourists is on the rise, especially following a visit by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to China.


He expected more Chinese tourists to visit Egypt in the coming period.


"We want one percent of Chinese tourists every year," Abdullah said, noting that more than 100 million Chinese tourists head for different destinations annually.


All Red Sea hotels offer guidance in Chinese language, the governor said, adding that staffers will be given courses to be able to speak Chinese in a bid to expand the use of this Sinitic language.


Asked about campaigns in China to attract tourists to visit Egypt, Abdullah said Chinese tourists are familiar with Egypt the same way China is familiar to Egyptians.


He talked about a plan to attract tourists from different parts of the world.


Egypt ranks first as the most visited tourist destination in Africa by Chinese tourists, according to the Chinese tourists network.

]]>
12/24/2018 10:56:41 AM
<![CDATA[Spacex halts launch of U.S. military satellite due to winds]]>
The next launch attempt will be on Sunday at 8:51 a.m. EST/ 13:51 UTC, according to Space X officials.

The launch, SpaceX's fourth attempt in a week after technical and weather delays, would have been the rocket firm's first national security space mission for the United States. Musk's rocket company has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches long-dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co.

SpaceX sued the U.S. Air Force in 2014 in protest over the military's award of a multibillion-dollar, non-compete contract for 36 rocket launches to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed. It dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open up competition.

The next year, SpaceX won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.

The launch would be the first of 32 satellites in production by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6 billion for the Air Force GPS III program, Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder said.

Air Force spokesman William Russell said: "Once fully operational, this latest generation of GPS satellites will bring new capabilities to users, including three times greater accuracy and up to eight times the anti-jamming capabilities."

The launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays, the Air Force said.

It would have marked SpaceX's first so-called National Security Space mission, as defined by the U.S. military, SpaceX said.

The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility.]]>
12/22/2018 5:10:02 PM
<![CDATA[Swiss tourist takes 6,000 photos for 100 archaeological sites rarely visited by tourists ]]>
Ryan Beck's visit to Egypt in 2000 was a turning point inhis life as he decided to leave his country and live in Luxor to dig more into Egypt's marvelous monuments and unique archaeological sites. So far, he has taken around 6,000 photos for more than 100 archaeological sites and Pharaonic tombs, monuments and temples across Egypt, which are rarely visited by tourists.

"I decided to promote for archaeological sites in Egypt, which are rarely visited by tourists," Beck remarked.

Currently, Beck lives in a two-story house in Luxor with his mother and the other members of his family are expected to come and live in Egypt in the coming period.

He has participated in several exhibitions in Luxor and Aswan where he presented these photos, and he plans to organize exhibitions for children and youth in schools and universities across Egypt.

Also, Egypt has been announced as the fastest growing tourist destination in terms of year-on-year percentage increase of visitors, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s 2018 release on global travel and tourism.

The annual report showed that Egypt welcomed about 8.5 million tourists during 2017 with a 55.1 percent increase, compared to the same period of 2016.

Luxor and Giza were on top of Egypt’s most famous and well-known cities for tourists, according to the report. ]]>
12/22/2018 3:26:56 PM
<![CDATA[Pakistan plans to relax visa policy in bid to revive tourism]]>
"We are reviewing our visa policies. We are trying to bring 55 countries into a visa-free region, which includes most of the European countries," Pakistan's information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, told Reuters.

That comes after Portugal this month declared Pakistan safe for travel, while France has also relaxed its advisory on travel to the South Asian nation

"I'm happy our (travel) advisories are changing," said Chaudhry.

Potentially restarting tourism has been one of the most talked about parts of new Prime Minister Imran Khan's push to create an Islamic welfare state in Pakistan, but visitors to the country often complain of an arduous visa process. Former Real Madrid soccer stars Kaka of Brazil and Portuguese playmaker Luis Figo were recently denied visas to the country for a promotional visit, Chaudhry said, highlighting the nation's laborious visa process.

"We refused a visa to Kaka and Figo. Can you believe that? I called the section officer and he never heard of ... Kaka," Chaudhry said, laughing.

"I spoke to the interior secretary yesterday and gave him a piece of my mind."

Pakistan was last a prominent tourist destination in the 1970s when the "hippie trail" brought Western travellers through the apricot and walnut orchards of the Swat Valley and Kashmir on their way to India and Nepal.

Since then, a deteriorating security situation and the imposition of a harsh interpretation of Islamic laws has chipped away at the number of visitors.

Following Pakistan's participation in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, the country was rocked by a decade of regular large-scale militant attacks.

Security has since improved dramatically, with militant attacks down sharply in the mainly Muslim country of 208 million people.

British Airways on Tuesday announced it would resume flights to Pakistan next year after a 10-year absence that followed a major hotel bombing, becoming the first Western airline to restart such flights.]]>
12/22/2018 12:43:09 PM
<![CDATA[Astronauts land from ISS stint marred by air leak, rocket failure]]>
A Soyuz spacecraft ferrying Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos landed safely in Kazakhstan, Russia's space agency said.

"There's been a landing... The crew of the manned Soyuz MS-09 has returned safely to Earth after 197 days," Roscosmos said on Twitter.

The spacecraft landed slightly ahead of schedule at 0802 Moscow time (0502 GMT), Roscosmos said on its website.

"The crew feels well after returning to Earth," the space agency said.

Live footage on the websites of NASA and Roscosmos did not show the landing of the astronauts' capsule due to thick fog over the snow-covered Kazakh steppe.

Rescuers pulled the crew members out of the capsule, with Prokopyev and Aunon-Chancellor appearing pale and weak due to the effects of long weightlessness, while Gerst beamed broadly and gave an interview to German television.

When the astronauts blasted off in June, they were one of the least experienced crews ever to join the International Space Station -- only Gerst had been on a space mission before, in 2014.

Gerst, who is from Germany, has now spent a total of 363 days on the ISS, a record for the European Space Agency. He is now flying to Cologne, the ESA said.

- Air leak -

The first significant incident in the crew's mission came in August when astronauts detected an air leak in their Soyuz spacecraft, which was docked to the orbiting space laboratory.

They sealed the small hole successfully but Russia launched an investigation and its space chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested it could have been deliberate sabotage carried out in space.

Rogozin said that investigators ruled out the possibility the defect was introduced during the spacecraft's manufacture.

Prokopyev and fellow Russian Oleg Kononenko last week carried out a gruelling space walk lasting almost eight hours to locate the hole from the outside and record and bag evidence.

The hole was in a section of the astronauts' spacecraft that was to fall away and burn up in the atmosphere as they landed, hence the need to carry out the probe in space.

During the space walk, Kononenko said there was some kind of black and yellow "furry" deposit that looked like a "spider" around the hole, but no conclusion has been made public.

Prokopyev brought back the evidence to Earth and will hand it to the FSB security service which will carry out laboratory analysis, TASS state news agency reported citing a source.

Their landing back on Earth was originally planned for December 13 but the schedule was put back after the October failure of a Soyuz rocket carrying the next crew -- the first such aborted launch in the post-Soviet era.

Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague took off for the ISS on October 11 but their Soyuz rocket failed minutes after blast-off, forcing them to eject and make a harrowing emergency landing.

At the time Gerst wrote on Twitter that the astronauts' survival showed "what an amazing vehicle" the Soyuz rocket is.

"Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind," he wrote.

The first successful launch of astronauts since the October accident took place on December 3, carrying Kononenko, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency.]]>
12/20/2018 11:35:29 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to operate direct flights from Sphinx Airport ]]>
Minister of Aviation Younis al-Masri said in a statement that the political leadership is very concerned with the opening of such airports as they contribute to the development of the infrastructure.

The airports in different countries of the world play an essential role in attracting direct economic and investment activities, Masri said, adding that the opening of this airport currently aims to relieve the pressure on Cairo International Airport.

EgyptAir is scheduled to operate about 15 flights a week to serve the internal movement during the half-year vacation in Egypt. Flights are set to head from Sphinx Airport to Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and vice versa.
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12/19/2018 12:55:53 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Red Sea governor inaugurates 1st scientific museum on marine life ]]>
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The Red Sea governor and USAID deputy mission director inaugurated the first scientific museum specialized in marine science and environment - Press Photo

Heba Shawky, deputy managing director of Hurghada Environmental protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA), said that the museum aims to provide researchers with information about marine life to help them in their studies.

museu2
The Red Sea governor and USAID deputy mission director inaugurated the first scientific museum specialized in marine science and environment - Press Photo

Shawky added that the museum is a great tourist hub as it provides tourists with lenses of virtual reality, enabling them to enter the miraculous world of the Red Sea.

museum3
The Red Sea governor and USAID deputy mission director inaugurated the first scientific museum specialized in marine science and environment - Press Photo

She referred that the ticket prices for tourists, Egyptians and researchers have not been identified yet.

She further explained that the museum, which cost LE 10 million, was established in cooperation with USAID to allow visitors to get acquainted with the unique natural resources of the Red Sea and its biological diversity. ]]>
12/19/2018 10:52:36 AM
<![CDATA[France launches Arabic website to promote tourism ]]>
“Tourism Matters”

“France is the world’s top destination for tourists. We receive every year about 85 million tourists,” Ambassador of France to Egypt Stephane Romatet said explaining that the MENA region is one of the key markets for France.

“We have something in common between France and Egypt. That is Tourism matters,” The ambassador highlighted. “We are launching a new website. France.Fr in Arabic,” Romatet announced.

France.Fr is operated by Atout France which is a public entity in charge of promoting tourism in France worldwide.

Regional Director of Atout France in the Middle East Karim Mekachera stated that tourism represents 8 percent of France’s GDP. “That makes it one of the top industries in the French economy along with automotive. The annual growth rate of the sector is four to five percent,” he said. “Tourism generates €150 billion per year. Of those, €55 billion come from international tourism,” Mekachera stated.

Mekachera
Regional Director of Atout France in the Middle East Karim Mekachera in a press conference in the French Embassy in Egypt to launch France.Fr in Arabic. December 12, 2018 - Egypt Today/Noha El Tawil

As for the decision of launching France.Fr in Arabic, Mekachera explained, “We found it would not be enough to just cooperate with tourism agencies in the Middle Eat so we decided to launch the website.”

“We used to promote destinations in France among professionals but the new step would attract more tourists,” Mekachera added.

“Clusters of Excellence”

Atout France uses social media to direct people to France.Fr website so they would get the necessary information to prepare for a trip to France.

“We have two main pillars in our strategy. One is the clusters of excellence which means identifying what we are good at in France. We are good at the culinary industry, oenology, cultural activities. We have rich history. We are good in sport adventures and shopping,” Mekachera explains.

“We have a variety of destinations such as the countryside, the seaside, the mountains, the cities. We have the fantastic handicraft industry. We lie on top when it comes to the luxury industry,” Mekachera explains. .

“The second pillar is that France - from a marketing perspective - is hard to promote because of the great variety of destinations and activities it has. After brainstorming, we came up with 20 destination brands that are all famous around the world such as Cannes, Leon, Paris, Britany,” Mekachera clarified.

“The website facilitates checking those destinations. We try to have that logic of umbrella brands. Some destinations are less famous compared to others. However, when you hear - for instance - Toulouse you can relate it to a main destination,” Meckachera elaborated.

France.Fr

“The website will enable us for the first time to really address Arabic-speakers very effectively. France.Fr addresses an audience of 200 million Arabic speakers,” Mekachera added.

“Tourists can share with us the photos they have captured during their visits to France and we would put them on social media,”.

The website enables users to check the measures and documents necessary to obtain the visa, and transportation. They can also learn about restaurants, hotels, and museums. All that can be found in the sections Before you Set off, Things to do, Places to go, Happening now in France, and the interactive map.

France. Fr in Arabic is fully adapted. Atout France is very mindful of the Middle Eastern culture when it comes to photos and articles. For instance, there will be no articles on alcohol.

There are now Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts in Arabic. Atout France is eager to do content curation whereas users photos will be posted along with the hashtag #marhaba_faranca in Arabic which means “welcome France.”

The hashtag is inspired by a huge event that was attended by travel agents from around the Arab World, and that was a success. Other hashtags that can be used are #France and #Paris.

The website is optimized to be easily used on mobile phones and tabs which are the source of 90 percent of the traffic on the website by users worldwide.

Visitors can also check restaurants offering Halal food, family activities, events, the weather, the currency, and everything that helps with planning the trip.

Statistics of Tourism in France

“France receives 2.5 million Arab tourists per year with tourists from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia making up the largest portion at 1.9 million. The rest come from Mashreq, Egypt, and Gulf countries. There are 60,000 from Lebanon, 200,000 from Saudi Arabia, and 160,000 United Arab Emirates,” Mekachera stated.

“Yearly, we receive between 70,000 and 100,000 Egyptian tourists,” ambassador Romatet said.

“Tourists from North Africa stay longer as the average number of days they stay is 9.4. The expenditure of a GCC tourist is around $3,000 - 4,000 per trip,” Mekachera said.

“Tourism was influenced by the terror attack in 2015 that incurred a drop in the number of tourists. Nevertheless, 2017 was an amazing year as the number of tourists bounced back with a growth rate estimated at 6 percent. When the figures for the year 2018 are out, we expect them to be good as well,” Mekachera added.

As for French tourism in Egypt, Mekachera stated that “2010 recorded the highest number of French tourists to Egypt at one million. Then, a drop occurred. In 2017, their number was 115,000.”

“When I talk to Air France, EgyptAir, and professional travel agencies, I find that they are selling Egypt. I think Egypt is back on the touristic map,” Mekachera added.
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12/17/2018 11:51:25 AM
<![CDATA[Charter flights between Lyon, Hurghada to be launched in 2019 ]]>
On the sidelines of a press conference held last week, the ambassador praised the economic reforms undertaken by Egypt as well as the mega projects being executed, particularly in the sectors of infrastructure and energy.

Since French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit Cairo in January, the ambassador said that the event can be an opportunity to increase French investments in Egypt whose current size is €4 billion. The most known of those in the tourism sector are hotels run by Sofitel and Club Accor Hotels.

Romatet revealed that the embassy holds visits to France to promote investment in Egypt among French companies, and that a mission to France will take place mid-March to promote tourism in Egypt. On the other hand, missions to Egypt jumped to 10 per year from four.

The ambassador unveiled that charter flights between Lyon-Hurghada will be launched in 2019.
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12/17/2018 11:40:57 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism in Bethlehem booming as Christmas nears]]>
Tourism has recovered following a fall in knife and car-ramming attacks which helped push visitor numbers in the biblical city to a 10-year low in 2015. Bethlehem store owners also said they were benefiting from a surge of visitors to Israel in its 70th anniversary year.

Filing past a sixteen-metre Christmas tree in Manger Square, lines of pilgrims squeeze through the narrow sandstone entrance to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, a centuries-old basilica whose grotto, Christians believe, is where Jesus was born.

"We have never received this number of tourists coming to Palestine," said Palestinian Minister of Tourism Rula Ma’ayah.

"Especially in a city like Bethlehem, tourism creates waves throughout the economy."

Hotel occupancy rates in Bethlehem are expected to exceed 95 percent by the end of December, the city's hoteliers' association said.

"We are fully booked during the Christmas season," said Wissam Salsa, Manager of the Walled Off Hotel, a quirky Bethlehem guesthouse designed by the British street artist Banksy.

"But of course, our hotel is fully occupied all of the time," Salsa added. "It is in the West Bank."

The hotel overlooks a towering concrete section of the barrier that Israel has built through the occupied West Bank, cutting off Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

Israel says the barrier stops suicide bombings, while Palestinians complain that it loops around Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank, where they want to set up a state.

Some American pilgrims in Bethlehem seemed to regard their visit as a continuation of a tour through Israel, rather than a trip to a Palestinian city.

"Coming to Israel has always been on my bucket list," said Robyn Jackson, 36, a travel adviser from Phoenix, Arizona who was shopping for souvenirs in a Bethlehem street leading to Manger Square. "Being in Bethlehem and all the places where Jesus walked is amazing."

For one group of American travellers, Israel's anniversary — together with U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to open an embassy there — was certainly a factor.

"I think excitement has been stirred because of the embassy move," said Keith Jiles, 55, a pastor from Atlanta, Georgia.

"People had been afraid in the past to come. But excitement has built. And you're gonna see more tourism because of it," he said.

Trump's Jerusalem decisions delighted Israelis but infuriated Palestinians and their allies, who warned that a unilateral move could lead to turmoil and hamper U.S. efforts to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The last round of negotiations broke down in 2014.]]>
12/14/2018 8:25:48 PM
<![CDATA[PICS: Tourists enjoy a color festival in Sharm el-Sheikh]]>
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December is one of the prime months in Sharm el-Sheikh, which stays largely warm during winter.

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Hundreds of tourists arrive daily in the Red Sea resort to enjoy the weather, beaches, underwater beauty, water sports and many other activities in the peaceful city.

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12/12/2018 12:18:59 PM
<![CDATA[Nov passenger numbers fell less than 5% after deadly crash: Lion Air]]>
"There was a decline but it wasn't too significant," the airline's CEO Edward Sirait told television network CNN Indonesia. "It was under 5 percent compared to the traffic at the same month last year."

He said Lion Air did not "clearly understand" whether the crash was responsible for the fall in traffic in November, which he said was a low season for travel.

The airline, Indonesia's largest, is privately owned and does not publicly release traffic statistics or financial results.

Sirait said last week Lion Air was considering cancelling orders for 737 MAX jets but it had not yet made a decision.

Sources told Reuters that relations between the airline and Boeing had worsened in a spat over responsibility for the crash.

The airline has 190 Boeing jets worth $22 billion at list prices waiting to be delivered, on top of 197 already taken, making it one of the largest U.S. export customers.

Bankers and some analysts say Lion Air and Southeast Asian rivals over-expanded and would be comfortable with fewer orders.

Boeing has declined to comment on contractual matters but industry sources say aerospace companies rarely leave room for unilateral cancellations except in exceptional circumstances.

The cause of the Oct. 29 crash into the Java Sea has yet to be determined.
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12/10/2018 3:54:51 PM
<![CDATA[Reasons why you have to visit Egypt]]>
The country is rich with breathtaking beaches and incredible destinations that you have to see. These unique areas distinguish Egyptfrom other countries in the region.

According to Forbes Middle East,Egypt has four of the top beaches across its beautiful coastline.

• Sharm El-Luli:

The destination is distinguished with vivid yellow sands and water in so many shades of blue, along with the smooth shore speckled with a sampling of rock formations, shallow warm waters and the vast coral reef where visitors can do snorkeling and diving.

• Blue Hole:

Dahab is famous for the Blue Hole, a 110-meter dive site drawing adventurous travelers from around the globe; it is considered to be one of the prime dive spots in the world.

It draws visitors who come to enjoy the tranquil beauty both above and below water.

Besides diving, windsurfing draws people to sail along its golden sandy shores and enjoy the laid-back vibe due in part to its native Bedouin tribes that have lived in the area for 800 years.

• Fjord Bay:

Fjord Bay in Taba is home to some of the best diving sites in the world. Dive 12 meters to the banana-shaped reef or dive 24 meters to the famous Fjord hole to enjoy watching thousands of unique marine creatures.

• Agiba Beach:

Agiba beach retains Egypt’s cultural essence — tucked on the Egyptian shore alongside the breathtaking Mediterranean Sea. Located in MarsaMatruh,Agiba stands on the famous rock and looks over the water like Cleopatra did 2000 years ago, imagining how she lived in this luxury in ancient Egypt. “Agiba” means miracle in Arabic.

Dahab, best destination ever

If you want to dive, Dahab is your inevitable destination,anotable place where you can own realms of fancy and joy. You can access all facilities with budget price - dive shops like Red Sea Relax’s dive center only charge €25 (less than $30) a dive. So, it doesn’t get much better than that. It is more than being a fair share of great sites; Dahab is a diver's paradise.
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12/9/2018 11:54:08 AM
<![CDATA[Rain protection projects in Taba worth LE200M ]]>
The projects include 12 draining channels, four lakes, and barriers to protect tourism establishments bordering Gulf of Aqaba, the gas pipeline, Nuweiba International Road, high-voltage electricity power towers, and security ambushes. They will finish by the end of the next year.

Those works have been designed based on prospects on heavy rains for the next 100 years. The studies were prepared using mathematical methods, and the data of previous decades taking into consideration climate change. The goal is linking all main valleys of Red Sea Mountains together.

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12/8/2018 1:30:53 PM
<![CDATA[Paris protests could hit tourism and transport stocks again]]>
Air France KLM, supermarket chain Carrefour and electronics store FNAC Darty have borne the brunt of the selling this week, underperforming their peers as the busy Christmas holiday season begins.

“The yellow vest protesters could scare away tourists and hit Accor and Air France, while the consumer sector will be hit as many French people will be put off from going out,” said Meriem Mokdad, fund manager at Roche Brune Asset Management.

The French capital attracted 40 million visitors last year and has more than 2,000 hotels. In the first half of this year, tourists spent some 10.3 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in Paris.

FNAC shares hit their lowest since July on Friday and are on track for a 16-percent drop for their weakest week in 5-1/2 years, Carrefour is set for a 7.6 percent drop this week, its worst since July, and Air France has fallen 10 percent so far, its biggest weekly drop since August.

Hotel chain Accor and motorway operator Vinci hit 18-month lows on Thursday as protesters blockaded roads around the country, while the threat of a broader transport strike is growing.

By comparison, the CAC 40 is down 3.2 percent on the week, German retailer Metro has fallen 1.3 percent, and British Airways owner IAG is down 2 percent for the week.

Much of Paris will be in lockdown and tens of thousands of police deployed across the nation this weekend to contain what protesters are billing as ‘Act IV’ of the ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations that has seen the worst unrest in the capital since 1968.

Top-flight soccer matches have been canceled, the Eiffel Tower is closed, and other popular landmarks are also shutting their doors on concerns about the demonstrations despite pledges on tax reforms from the government.

Small retailers saw a big drop in revenue, and the hotel industry lost reservations following last Saturday’s protests as rioters torched cars, vandalized cafes, looted shops and sprayed anti-Macron graffiti in some of Paris’s most affluent districts.

“Last minute cancellations could be on the way in the tourism and transport sector. Accor has shown some relative resilience, Vinci has a strong enough balance sheet to cope, but we are more wary of the impact on Air France,” said Pierre Willot, fund manager at Paris-based Montaigne Capital.]]>
12/8/2018 11:21:50 AM
<![CDATA[Tourism and marine parks threaten Thailand's 'people of the sea']]>
But when his time comes, Sutem will be laid to rest in a cemetery where all he will hear is the roar of traffic on Phuket, Thailand's largest island and a key tourism destination.

The land in which Sutem's ancestors were buried now heaves with daytrippers taking selfies, while the Urak Lawoi community of the Chao Lay are confined to a small patch of Phuket's Rawai beach that is also claimed by developers and individuals.

"Our way of life of the olden days is gone - when we could fish anywhere, and we had a connection to the land because of our ancestors' burial site and spiritual shrines," said Sutem.

"We do not have that connection any more," he said standing on the sandy beach of Koh He, a small island off Phuket's southern coast, where his ancestors were once buried.

The Chao Lay, or people of the sea, have lived on the shores of Thailand and Myanmar for generations, fishing and foraging.

Some, like the Moken, are nomadic, spending weeks on the sea and free-diving to spear fish. Others, like the Urak Lawoi on Rawai beach in Phuket, have a more settled life while fishing in the Andaman Sea with their traps of rattan and wire.

They grabbed the world's attention in 2004 when they escaped the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami by fleeing to higher ground when they saw the waters recede.

But the community may be facing its greatest threat yet as marine conservation efforts limit their traditional fishing grounds, and a tourism boom pits them against developers keen on the patch of land that their boats, homes and shrines sit on.

Shared by many

At the heart of the struggles of the Chao Lay - also known as "Sea Gypsies" - is not just their right to the sea and land, but also a more fundamental question of legality and identity, said Narumon Arunotai at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

"Their culture and traditions are not protected by the Constitution, and they do not have title deeds and permits, so it is difficult for them to assert their claim," she said.

"But they were there long before the tourists and the conservationists. If managed well, indigenous rights can go well with conservation and tourism," she said.

Across the world, indigenous people are fighting for the recognition of their rights to land, forest and water.

While they own more than half the world's land under customary rights, they have secure legal rights to only 10 percent, according to Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

From Peru to Indonesia, laws aimed at conserving forests are leading to the evictions of indigenous people.

The Chao Lay's right to the sea is even more tenuous as they often lack permits and licences for fishing, and get arrested or fined for straying into newly established marine protected areas or island parks that authorities say are key to conservation.

The Chao Lay in Phuket, which lies about 700 kilometres (430 miles) southwest of Bangkok, face more than two dozen cases related to encroachment of land and trespass of national parks.

Two families on Rawai beach lost their cases, and have to leave the homes in which they had lived for about 40 years.

Four cases have found in favour of the Chao Lay on the basis of DNA evidence culled from old bones, as well as pictures of a 1959 visit to Rawai by the revered late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In a separate case, dozens of Chao Lay were injured in 2016 in clashes on Rawai beach protesting a developer who had a land title and a permit to build holiday villas, which villagers said would cut access to their boats and shrines.

Government officials ordered an investigation and a halt to construction, according to a report by advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW), which said the Chao Lay had suffered "decades of poverty, marginalisation and discrimination".

"They generally do not assert ownership rights because they believe that land and water should not be owned or controlled by one person, but rather shared by many," said Brad Adams at HRW.

"Yet they themselves face eviction from their ancestral land," he said.

A 2010 Cabinet resolution to respect the traditions of Thailand's Karen indigenous people and the Chao Lay, and to allow them access to national parks, has not been effectively implemented, campaigners say.

A draft law to establish special social and cultural zones for indigenous groups could resolve conflicts over land and sea with shared rights, said Thanyaporn Chankrajang, an assistant professor at Chulalongkorn University.

"The small-scale, seasonal fishing that the Chao Lay practise is not harmful to marine life or the environment," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"Shared rights in marine national parks can be easily implemented, monitored and evaluated, and help protect the environment, as well as their income."

Changed lives

At the small village in Rawai, the open drains and modest tin-and-wood homes of the Urak Lawoi stand in sharp contrast to Phuket's plush hotels.

Their wooden boats and old-fashioned fishing traps - which can be as big as a small car - are an anomaly amidst the speed-boats carrying tourists for snorkelling and parasailing.

Faced with restricted areas and a dwindling catch because of pollution and overfishing by commercial fleets, more Chao Lay are seeking jobs on land in construction and in hotels, said Ri Fongsaithan, an Urak Lawoi community elder.

"Our lives have changed. We have to go farther and dive deeper to catch fish, and that is affecting our health," he said, looking at children playing noisily in the sea.

"Tourism is booming, but we are excluded. And we are worried that we will lose the cases and be removed from here."

A spokesman at the governor's office in Phuket said the authorities had allocated a site on a nearby island for the Urak Lawoi to move to, but that they were not willing to relocate.

The site is far from the beach and their shrines, said Niran Yangpan, an assistant to the village leader.

"We have already adapted to many changes and challenges, and we are willing to adapt further and respect the law," he said.

"But they must also respect our right to the land and to the sea. It is all we have."
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12/5/2018 1:14:36 PM
<![CDATA[Paris riots hurt French tourism and transport stocks]]>
Supermarket Carrefour (CARR.PA) and highway operator Vinci (SGEF.PA) were the worst-performing, down 2.1 and 2.6 percent respectively. Shares in hotel chain Accor (ACCP.PA) and airline Air France (AIRF.PA) fell by 1.6 and 2.7 percent.

Nationwide protests against fuel taxes and living costs, known as the “yellow vest” movement after fluorescent jackets kept in all vehicles in France, escalated on Saturday as rioters ran amok across central Paris, torching cars and looting shops.

Investors and traders connected the stock falls to investors’ unease over the potential impact riots could have on the economy and on tourists’ appetite to visit the capital.

“Accor is falling, and it is fair to say that investors are wondering if there will be cancellations at their hotels,” said Jerome Schupp, a fund manager at Geneva-based firm Prime Partners.

“It’s not good to see those images of a major capital,” said a trader. “It could hurt the economy.”

Highway operator Vinci Autoroutes said the “yellow vest” protests were continuing to have a major impact, although it did not specify any figures in a press release on Monday morning.

Traders said the earnings conglomerate Vinci gets from its motorway concessions could be hit by the protests, which have blocked toll roads across France.

Oil major Total (TOTF.PA) said on Monday several dozen of its gasoline stations had run dry as a more than two-week long protest over fuel tax hikes began to impact fuel reserves and distribution.

The falls came even as France's top stock index .FCHI climbed 1.7 percent, on track for its best day in a month after a truce in the U.S.-China trade war lifted global markets.
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12/3/2018 4:25:40 PM
<![CDATA[New mobile application to train tourism staffers]]>
The application is meant to save time and effort by helping travel agencies download the best training programs in the tourism domain to hone skills of their staffers, the association said in a statement.

Also, the application will provide training courses for the directors of travel agencies and students in the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, the ministry said.

The association will hold meetings with a number of companies offering such services to choose the best, the statement added.]]>
12/2/2018 12:19:58 PM
<![CDATA[Australia moves to curb 'orphanage tourism']]>
Amid warnings that children in poor countries are being shipped into the institutions to meet the lucrative demand for western volunteerism, a new law has been introduced to tackle the issue.

The Modern Slavery Bill was passed by both houses of parliament on Thursday and includes an explicit reference to "trafficking and/or exploitation of children in orphanages."

Under the new law, so-called "orphanage trafficking" will be treated as a slavery and trafficking offence.

"Australia is the first country in the world to recognise orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery," said Paul Ronalds of Save the Children Australia, a non-governmental lobby group.

It is estimated that around 80 percent of the eight million children in orphanages worldwide have parents or family who could take care of them.

Sometimes children are sent away, with their parents believing they will get a good education.

According to Save the Children, more than 50 percent of Australian universities advertised orphanage placements as a volunteering opportunity overseas.

Activists hope the legal change will cause Australians to more carefully vet where they volunteer overseas.

Share or comment on this article: Australia moves to curb 'orphanage tourism']]>
12/1/2018 11:51:54 AM
<![CDATA[ET presents Egypt's most attractive winter destinations]]>
Egypt is one of the most popular and oldest tourist destinations throughout the world, especially in winter, as it is the time when some Egyptian cities truly shine.

Here are the Egyptian cities which look more stunning in winter.

1- Luxor

Luxor and Aswan cities are located in southern Egypt. They have nearly half of the world’s monuments and they are the best place to spend your vacation, especially in the winter because of their warm weather throughout the year; the sun rises up to 11 hours a day during summer, and rises for more than 8 hours a day in winter.

Both of these cities are characterized by their historical sites which attract tourists from all over the world. Luxor is well-known as the world’s greatest open air museum because of its unique archaeological treasures. It also is the second most visited place in Egypt after Cairo.

The most important sites in Luxor are:

a- Temple of Karnak: It was the largest and most significant religious complex in ancient Egypt and it honored not only Amun but other gods such as Osiris, Montu, Isis, and Ptah as well as some Egyptian rulers.

The temple is famous for the Sound and Light Show held every night which is considered one of the most wonderful and exciting ways to discover this temple.

b- Valley of the Kings and the Queens: This valley is an amazing place and a royal burial ground; around 62 Pharaohs were buried in it.

c- Temple of Deir Al-Bahari: In the 15th century BC, the Temple of Deir Al-Bahari was built on the west bank of the Nile so as to commemorate the achievements of Queen Hatshepsut.

Deir Al-Bahari means Northern Monastery and it comprises one of the most wonderful mortuary temples in Egypt.

2- Aswan

Aswan was known as Syene during ancient Egypt which means market because it was located on the main trade route between Egypt and the southern lands. After the construction of the High Dam, Nubians fled to Aswan after water flooded their homeland. Therefore, this city is rich with Nubian culture.

The most important sites in Aswan are:

a- Kom Ombo Temple: Kom Ombo means the Hill of the Gold. Kom Ombo temple is an unusual double temple, as it merges between the temple of Sobek-the crocodile god- and the temple of Haroeris –the falcon god. It was established during the Greco- Roman era.

b- The Nubian Village: The village is divided into three main regions: Upper, Middle and Lower Nubia. The Nubian village is located on Elephantine Island on the Nile River, near Aswan. One of the most common traditions of the Nubian village's residents is raising crocodiles in their homes as pets.

Deir_el-Bahari_0489
Temple of Deir Al-Bahari, Luxor governorate, Egypt –Ccvia Wikimedia commons

c- Abu Simbel Temple: It consists of two enormous temples located on Egypt’s borders with Sudan. This temple was established by Ramses II in the 13 century BC to commemorate Ramses II’s victory at the battle of Kadesh. In 1968, this temple was entirely relocated after building the Aswan High Dam reservoir and lake Nasser.

3- Sharm El-Sheikh

It is a resort town in the southern coast of Sinai Peninsula. Sharm El-Sheikh is one of the world’s extraordinary diving destinations. It is rather hot in the summer and warm in the winter, which leads it to be one of the most attractive cities in Egypt, especially in winter.

8_A_resort_in_Sharm_El_Sheikh
A resort in Sharm El-Sheikh, April 22, 2016- CC via Wikimedia commons

Many tourists visit this city to enjoy its magnificent mountains, exotic coral reefs, picturesque clear blue water, luxurious resorts and gorgeous beaches.

In 2000, the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Sharm El-sheikh as the finest city in the world for peace and beauty.

Additionally, Sharm El-Sheikh is known as “City of Peace”, as this city witnessed many international peace conferences and forums, after witnessing the signing of the Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

The most important sites in Sharm El-Sheikh are:

a- The Heavenly Cathedral: Located at Hay El-Noor district in Sharm El-sheikh, it is the biggest Coptic Church and was regarded as one of the world’s 10 most beautiful churches in 2010.

This church’s features explain religious murals of Biblical stories such as the Creation and the Exodus.

b- Ras Mohamed National Park: It is one of the most interesting and famous national parks in Egypt and it is located on the southernmost tip of Sinai. Ras Mohamed has several amazing areas for drivers, as the park is surrounded by unique coral reefs.

c- Naama Bay: It is the most famous shopping spot in Sharm El-sheikh. Naama Bay provides various kinds of merchant displays, where tourists find clothes, souvenirs, jewelry stores, gift shops, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.

4- Dahab

Dahab means gold in Arabic. The city derived its name from its yellow shiny sand. It is the second most treasured diving destination in south Sinai after Sharm El-Sheikh.
The most important sites in Dahab are:

a- The Blue Hole: Professional drivers come from all over the world to explore the uniqueness of the Blue Hole. The Blue Hole is one of best snorkeling spots in Egypt and one of the top 5 blue holes in the world, as it contains wonderful fishes, friendly dolphins, unique coral reefs and various caves.

Dahab_Beach
A beach in Dahab, Egypt, December2003- CC via Wikimedia commons

b- The lighthouse: It is famous for teaching all levels of divers from beginners to professional.

c- Ras Abu Galum: Located north of Dahab, Ras Abu Galum is a wonderful place for snorkeling and diving. Ras Abu Galum's Bedouins are very friendly with tourists and visitors.
]]>
11/28/2018 12:48:08 PM
<![CDATA[S.African MPs seek end of captive lion trophy hunting]]>
South Africa has as many as 8,000 lions in captivity being bred for hunting, the bone trade, tourism and academic research, according to estimates by wildlife groups.

By contrast there are just 3,000 lions in the wild, living in the country's national parks where hunting is prohibited.

Trophy hunting is a $36-million industry, but parliamentarians have been emboldened by high-profile global campaigns to push for its demise.

A committee of lawmakers responsible for overseeing environmental affairs recommended on November 12 that the government reconsider the rules governing the breeding of captive lions for hunting and bone harvesting.

The global trade of body parts from lions killed in the wild is banned by international treaties -- but permitted for animals bred in captivity.

The MPs resolved that ministers should review the issue "with a view to putting an end to this practice".

The decision followed two days of crunch talks between MPs, breeders and animal welfare campaigners.

- 'Damage to brand South Africa' -

Lawmakers also want the government to "reconsider" its recent decision to nearly double to 1,500 the quota of lion skeletons that can be legally traded this year.

In the past decade South Africa has exported the big cat bones to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and other markets in Southeast Asia for use in jewellery as well as their supposed medicinal properties.

"South Africa is allowing a practice that everybody is turning their backs to. We need to find a solution as a country to improve the situation," said parliament's environment committee chief Phillemon Mapulane.

He added that the country's strong reputation for conservation was being compromised by the situation.

"(It undermines) broader conservation, but (benefits) a small number of breeders without proper scientific or conservation basis," said Mapulane.

"The industry is doing serious damage to brand South Africa."

Derek Hanekom, who was acting minister for environmental affairs when parliament made its recommendations, told AFP he would appoint a special task force to examine animal breeding rules.

"We are finalising the terms of reference of the panel that will investigate and make recommendations on these issues," he said.

The practice of hunting lions raised in captivity has long been controversial in South Africa where a large number of animals are confined to pens ringed with electric fences.

But former environment minister Edna Molewa, who died earlier this year, warned that changing the rules risked creating a situation in which "thousands of lions will have no value and there will be no income".

She also warned that jobs could be lost if the country's nearly 300 lion breeding facilities were closed and the trade banned.

Though the industry contributes significant tax revenues every year, activists have labelled it "unethical".

Campaigns to ban the importation of captive-bred lion trophies have gathered steam in Australia, France, The Netherlands and the United States in recent years.

In 2016 the International Union for Conservation of Nature called on South Africa to end the practice of hunting captive-bred lions altogether.

In September, Singapore Airlines, which was the only airline involved in transporting lion bones from South Africa to Southeast Asia, announced it would no longer carry the controversial cargo.

- Industry warns of job losses -

"This industry is nothing but a blight on the conservation pedigree that South Africa should otherwise be able to claim," said Yolan Friedman, chief executive of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

"South Africa's captive predator breeding industry is cruel, serves no conservation purpose, and damages South Africa's reputation as a wildlife tourism destination," added Mark Jones of the Britain-based Born Free conservation charity.

Paul Funston, a senior director at the wild cat conservation group Panthera warned that the government review could be too vague to make a difference.

"There is no real clear directive for change, it's not a forceful directive. We are a bit disappointed that it's not an immediate call to close the industry," said Funston.

But Kirsten Nematandani, president of the South African Predator Association, warned that if parliament's recommendations were implemented "it means thousands of jobs will be lost".]]>
11/27/2018 11:02:28 AM
<![CDATA[Thomas Cook shares collapse on fresh profit warning]]>
The company said underlying annual profits would come in at £250 million ($321 million, 283 million euros) for the 12 months to September.

The group had already warned in September that its annual profits would be slashed to around £280 million.

Thomas Cook will publish final results on Thursday, while 2017/18 earnings were knocked badly by rising costs and a long period of hot European weather over the summer -- which saw customers put off last-minute holidays abroad.

On Thursday, Thomas Cook also suspended its annual shareholder dividend, contributing to its share price plunging 30 percent to 33.94 pence in morning deals.

"2018 was a disappointing year for Thomas Cook," said chief executive Peter Fankhauser, citing the impact of a "prolonged period of hot weather in our key summer trading period".

The stock, which is listed on London's falling second-tier FTSE 250 index, later stood down 24.14 percent at 36.82 pence.

Thomas Cook's share price has tumbled by almost three quarters since the start of the year, when it stood at about 124 pence.

"The woe continues for shareholders, in what has been an awful year for Thomas Cook," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The decision to cut the dividend cannot have been taken lightly.

"However the lack of dividend is likely to be the least of shareholders problems given how badly the shares have performed this year."]]>
11/26/2018 2:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Red Sea ranks 6thamong top 10 diving areas in the world]]>
The magazine reported that the Red Sea contains more than 400 species of registered coral reefs, noting that "diving has become firmly installed in the Egyptian tourism industry."

"One of the best diving sites in the world is Ras Mohamed, followed by the Brothers' islands located between Safaga and Qusair where tourists can find the best coral reefs and sharks ever," according to the magazine.

The magazine also stressed that the San John reef at MarsaAlam is deemed as a combination of seamounts, coral gardens and deep-sea descent, as well as the wreckage of the sinking English ship SislAljorm north ofHurghada, the most popular site for divers.

According to the UK-based magazine's competition, Indonesia topped the ranking as the besttouristic destinationthanks to its biologicaldiversityas it embraces coral reefs and marine life and pays great attention toimproving the conservation of the marine environment.

For his part, Ahmed Ghalab, director of the Red Sea Reserves, said that there are more than 60 diving sites in the Red Sea.

"The marine activity represents 60 percent of the total touristic activities in the Red Sea," Ghalab told Egypt Today.

Ghalab noted that approximately 3million tourists flock to the resort city annually to dive and exerciseother marine activities.

]]>
11/25/2018 1:07:31 PM
<![CDATA[Dodging traffic, and death, on Manila's railway carts]]>
Scores of commuters in the city of about 12 million are propelled to their destinations daily by so-called "trolley boys" pushing metal carts that ply a few segments of the sprawling capital's railroads.

Passengers save time and money -- paying just 10 pesos (20 US cents) a trip -- but must face the constant risk of being crushed by a passing locomotive if they or the trolley boys don't move fast enough.

"Our job here is very dangerous, you need to know what time the train will pass by," said 57-year-old Rene Vargas Almeria, who has been at it for nearly 20 years.

Commuter trains travel nearly two dozen times a day along this 1.2-kilometre (one-mile) stretch of rail in the Santa Mesa district, where authorities grudgingly tolerate the carts due to their popularity.

The trolley boys also ply a few other stretches of Manila's battered rail system, that carries an average of 45,000 passengers a day.

Incredibly, casualties are relatively rare. Police do not keep statistics, but said they couldn't remember the last time a fatality occurred.

The same cannot be said of close calls -- anyone who spends time pushing or riding the carts seems to have a hair-raising story to share.

Rodolfo Maurello's scariest near-miss in almost two decades as a trolley boy came when he failed to notice the train behind him as he was pushing a cart packed with passengers.

"The train was just metres away," the 60-year-old said, recalling how he turned around with only seconds to spare and waved it to a stop.

"The sound of its brakes screeching was very loud."

- 'I trust them' -

Almeria has a similar tale, which happened one day when his mind wandered and his sole passenger was looking the other way.

"I swung my head around and saw the train coming and yanked my trolley off the tracks," he added. "It was really close."

On a good day the trolley boys can make up to $10, ferrying passengers seeking to escape Manila's infamous gridlock -- a collision of poor infrastructure, weak public transit and an increasing number of cars.

Even as Manila's population grew 50 percent from 1995-2015, investment in the city's creaking transport system has not kept up, opening a gap for informal options like the pushcarts to fill.

Most journeys lack life-or-death drama, with workers in office attire and students clutching their lunch bags and pecking at their smartphones, a tattered beach umbrella providing the only protection from the burning sun or frequent downpours.

"There is no traffic," 46-year-old Noemi Nieves told AFP. "It is convenient for us and the fare is just right for our budget."

Despite the risks and minimal comforts, commuters say the trolley carts offer a welcome shortcut to spending hours in traffic only to travel a few kilometres.

Danica Lorraine, 25, shaves nearly an hour off her daily commute, spared from having to take two additional buses each way.

"You just need to be cautious -- very, very, very cautious," she said.

Kerkleen Bongalon, a teacher, has -- for the most part -- gotten over her unease at riding the carts.

One stretch of her journey passes over the Pasig river -- with a 15-metre (50-foot) plunge between the rail tracks and the water below.

"At first it was scary," she said. "I don't know how to swim so if something happens while we are on the bridge I really don't know what would happen."

"But nothing will happen because the trolley boys know the time the train will pass by", she added.

"I trust them".]]>
11/25/2018 11:33:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sotheby's latest auction house to end rhino horn sales]]>
The auction house had been due to put three lots of rhinoceros horn under the hammer at a sale next week.

"The company will no longer offer rhino horn artefacts in the future," Nicolas Chow, chairman of Sotheby's Asia confirmed in a statement.

"Sotheby's deplores any illegal slaughter and trading of endangered wildlife, and strongly supports conservation efforts from the global community," he added.

The decision comes after Bonhams cancelled its sale in Hong Kong of 21 lots of rhino horn carvings, valued at $3.87 million according to Humane Society International, following mounting pressure.

"In future, Bonhams will not offer artefacts made entirely or partly from rhinoceros horn in its salerooms," Bonhams global CEO Matthew Girling said in a statement.

The decision came after thirty-seven wildlife conservation organisations including WildAid wrote to the company demanding it cancel the auction and stop future sales.

An online petition describing the Bonhams sale as unethical had been signed by more than 10,000 people.

"We congratulate Bonhams on its wise decision to stop selling rhino horn items. The rhino will only survive if the trade in their horns, in whatever form, is stopped," said John Baker, managing director of WildAid.

Christie's had already banned rhino horn items at its auctions.

Environmental groups warned even a small uptick in demand for trading in antique rhino horns, as well as pseudo-antique horns, would push rhinos closer to extinction.

South Africa, which is home to about 80 percent of the world rhino population, has been hit hardest by poachers. More than 7,100 animals have been killed over the past decade.

Rhino horns are highly coveted in Asia, where they have fetched up to $60,000 per kilogram.

In 2017, South Africa hosted its first online auction of rhino horn, following the lifting of the ban on domestic trade. The auction attracted fewer bidders than anticipated.]]>
11/24/2018 3:21:46 PM
<![CDATA[Harry and Meghan announce move to Windsor in early 2019]]>
The couple, given the titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after marrying in Windsor in May, will live in Frogmore Cottage, a two-storey stucco-faced house in Windsor Home Park close to the castle.

They will relocate to their new home, around 20 miles (32 kilometres) southwest of London, "as they prepare for the arrival of their first child," the palace said in a statement.

"Windsor is a very special place for their royal highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate," it added.

Prince Harry and Meghan, who returned earlier this month from a 16-day tour Pacific tour, currently live in Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace in west London.

Described as cosy and "modest", it consists of two reception rooms and two bedrooms.

The Palace said the couple's office would remain there.

It provided no further details on the new official residence.

Historic England, a public body which maintains a register of old buildings given special protections, lists Frogmore House in its Grade II category.

The status is awarded to just 5.8 percent of approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England, marking them out as particularly important sites.

The organisation dates the cottage back to the early 19th century but does not detail how many bedrooms it contains.

It sits on the grounds of the far grander Frogmore House, built in 1680-84 and a royal residence since 1792 -- and where Harry and Meghan had their evening wedding reception.

"The name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying marshy area," according to the royal family's website.]]>
11/23/2018 3:26:00 PM
<![CDATA[Top Egyptian travel company sees sector recovering as tourists return]]>
Tourism is a cornerstone of Egypt’s economy, a source of income for millions of citizens and a major source of foreign exchange. But the sector suffered severely in the years following 2011’s popular uprising and was further hampered by a spate of militant attacks which targeted visitors.

Egypt’s revenues from tourism jumped 77 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2018 to $4.8 billion, while the number of tourists arriving in the country increased by 41 percent to just over 5 million.

Travco Group, which owns over 40 hotels in Egypt and abroad and is the local agent for Germany’s TUI Group (TUIGn.DE), raised its prices by 30-35 percent at the beginning of this winter season, its CEO Hamed El Chiaty told Reuters in an interview.

“The level of tourist bookings during the current winter holiday season in Egypt is promising,” Chiaty said, adding that bookings from Germany, Italy, Poland and Ukraine were particularly promising.

In a devastating blow to the already struggling sector, Russia halted all flights to Egypt, and Britain stopped flights to Sinai, after an Islamist militant bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane in October 2015, killing everyone on board.

There have not been any major attacks aimed at the tourist sector in well over a year and Russia resumed flights to Cairo in April, although it has yet to authorize its aircraft to land in the Red Sea resort of Sham al-Sheikh.

Chiaty said that Travco’s price increases were the highest in seven years, rising to pre-2011 levels, while occupancy levels at the group’s hotels were more than 80 percent, with the exception of Sharm al-Sheikh.

Travco has market share of between 15 and 20 percent of the Polish, Belgian, English, Italian, Ukrainian and Austrian markets, Chiaty said, adding that it had recently refurbished its hotels.
]]>
11/21/2018 4:51:02 PM
<![CDATA[In Pics: 10 American bloggers promote tourism in Egypt]]>
The bloggers were invited in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Egypt as their visit took place on Nov.11 - 17. The bloggers’ instagram posts had the hashtag #egyptunveiled.



















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#abercrombiekent#egyptunveiled#

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11/19/2018 12:21:41 PM
<![CDATA[Nigerian millennials fuel domestic tourism]]>
She is one of a growing number of Nigerian holiday-makers keen to explore their country, one whose unenviable reputation for violent crime and corruption largely deters international travelers.

Nigeria thus loses out on tourism revenues to other countries perceived to be safer such as Kenya, Ghana and the Gambia.

Small, social media-savvy companies like Social Prefect Tours (SPT) and TVP Adventures are hoping young professionals like Akeju will form a burgeoning market of tourists wanting to discover the natural beauty and culture in their own backyard.

“At first you would not think there are this many exciting places here, but when you travel you realize that ... there are a lot of fun places, so it is a very good experience to see the beauty of the country,” said Akeju, 23, who works in IT insurance.

From lush forests sheltering waterfalls and warm springs in the west to the Alpine-like mountains of the east, from festivals to historical sites, attractions are in no shortage in the west African country.

But unlike African tourist destinations such as Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, Nigerian governments have invested little in nurturing the industry.

“The government is more focused on other sources of income and has not really developed the tourist sector,” said Chiamaka Ntia, SPT’s founder.

“People as well are not really informed that there are places that they can go to for leisure, for holiday and also, these places are not properly taken care of, they are not up to standard when you compare ... to those other African countries.”

VISAS ON ARRIVAL

Nigeria brought in $1.09 billion from international tourism in 2016, the latest year available, according to the World Bank. By comparison, Kenya received $1.62 billion that year, Tanzania got $2.16 billion and South Africa $8.81 billion.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has said the government has implemented policies - including the introduction of visas on arrival last year and efforts to improve the ailing power, road and rail infrastructure - to make Nigeria more attractive for overseas travelers.

“There is no doubt that Nigeria is fast becoming a destination of choice for international tourists,” he said in August. His ministry, however, said an uptick in tourist numbers was based on anecdotal evidence since it lacks data.

Despite the minister’s assertion, problems persist for Nigeria’s tourism industry.

“The downside will be the roads, not so good roads, they are not that great at all,” said Chinedu Ahanonu, a Lagos-based training consultant in her thirties, also on the SPT tour.

Infrastructure is a major challenge: as well as decrepit roads, trains are a rarity and flights are notorious for delays and cancellations.

Travel can also be dangerous. Many roads are plagued by kidnappings and accidents, police are more likely to ask for money than offer a service and deadly communal clashes have erupted across much of Nigeria’s hinterland states, particularly this year.

Despite those hurdles, the travel firms say they focus on safe, accessible spots. For Ahanonu, the effort is worth it.

“It is so much richer, because, you know, it is like finding a diamond inside the rough, in your own place,” she said.]]>
11/18/2018 11:48:06 AM
<![CDATA[Indonesian woman who lost fiance in Lion Air crash pleads for safe planes]]>
Intan Indah Syari had been due to marry her high-school sweetheart, Rio Nanda Pratama, who was a doctor, on November 11.

Photographs of Syari wearing her white wedding dress, alone, on the day of their planned ceremony went viral on social media with thousands of likes and an outpouring of sympathetic comments from around the world.

"I want him, now that he is on the other side, to know that I'm happy. This was to pay him my last respects," Syari said, explaining her decision to wear the dress and how her fiance's last wish had been to see photos of her in the gown.

"We had been waiting for this moment for 13 years, including six years in a long distance relationship, but at the end I lost my fiance," she told Reuters, speaking softly.

Syari said she had kept calling his mobile phone on the days immediately after the Oct. 29 crash, clinging to a faint hope that he might be still alive.

His body was later identified and search officials found his shoes, as well as a bag and paperwork belonging to him.

Indonesian investigators are due to publish a preliminary report on the crash later this month in a bid to explain why the nearly new Boeing Co 737 MAX jet slammed violently into the sea during clear weather.

Pratama's father has filed a U.S. lawsuit against Boeing, alleging it did not adequately warn Lion Air or its pilots of an unsafe design condition. Boeing is headquartered in Illinois

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned airlines last week that erroneous inputs from the system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control.

Urging regulators to prevent any recurrence of such a crash, Syari said that all her hopes and dreams had been shattered.

"Please improve the regulation of the aviation industry, in terms of safety and inspections, before a flight takes off," she said. "If a flight is not fit to fly, please do not let it leave."
]]>
11/16/2018 6:15:35 PM
<![CDATA[This place is the pits: China opens luxury hotel in quarry]]>
Preventing the 88-metre-deep (290 feet) pit from flooding was among the chief challenges for engineers working on the swanky 336-room InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland -- part of a $288 million (S$396 million) development that also includes a theme park.

The hotel, which is one of a growing number of bold architectural designs springing up in China, hugs one side of the pit wall, with a waterfall cascading down the opposite face.

The subterranean 17-floor hotel is about an hour's drive from the centre of Shanghai, with room charges starting at 3,394 yuan ($490) a night.

There is a floor of suites below the water level, but don't expect to gaze directly into the depths of Shenkeng Quarry -- the windows are instead buffered by large fish tanks.

"Why do we say there is nothing in the world that compares to the quarry hotel project?" Chen Xiaoxiang, chief engineer with the real estate giant, Shimao Property, said to AFP.

"It's a project that's completely new, a project we have never encountered before.

"There were no references, cases or experience we could learn from to solve all the difficulties," he said.

That meant engineers were met with unexpected problems.

Before construction started in 2013, for example, heavy rainfall caused a nearby river to overflow into the quarry, filling half of it.

"If something like that had happened after construction was complete, it would have been a devastating blow," Chen said.

Designers built an embankment around the edge of the pit to prevent that happening in future, when hundreds of well-heeled guests are sipping cocktails on the deck far below.

A pump house is used to help regulate water levels.

TOTALLY UNIQUE'

The waterfall is one of the development's most eye-catching features. Adventurous guests can also indulge in rock climbing.

The project's masterminds talk up its environmental bona fides, saying abandoned quarries often become landfills.

"This was a totally unique idea, to really do something special with a site that was forgotten and nobody knew what to do with, and to give it new life," said Martin Jochman, a British architect with the project since it started 12 years ago.

"I never lost my belief that it would be done one day, but it is here now, and I am really excited and amazed by the whole thing," he said.

China's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by a construction boom that often throws up outlandish designs.

The Beijing headquarters of state broadcaster China Central Television has been nicknamed "The Big Underpants" because it resembles a giant pelvis.

A skyscraper built this year in southwestern China features a 108-metre waterfall tumbling down one side.
]]>
11/15/2018 6:05:31 PM
<![CDATA[Fewer foreign students coming to US for second year in row: survey]]>
New enrollments for the 2017-18 school year slumped 6.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to an annual survey released by the Institute of International Education. That follows a 3.3 percent decline in new international students tallied in the 2016-17 academic year.

Several factors are driving the decrease. Visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts said.

A strong dollar has made U.S. college tuition relatively more expensive, Canadian and European universities are competing fiercely for the same students and headlines about mass shootings also may have deterred some students, said Allan Goodman, president of IIE.

“Everything matters from safety, to cost, to perhaps perceptions of visa policy,” Goodman said. “We’re not hearing that students feel they can’t come here. We’re hearing that they have choices. We’re hearing that there’s competition from other countries.”

International students have become an important funding source for American colleges as traditional revenue sources, such as state funding, come under pressure. Most undergraduate foreign students do not qualify for need-based financial aid and must pay close to full tuition and fees to attend U.S. schools.

Similar to previous years, the largest numbers of students came from China, India and South Korea, which together made up 56.1 percent of all international students.

IIE did not track new international student numbers before the 2004-05 school year, but Goodman said the recent declines in new enrollments were comparable to the period after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The annual survey of foreign-student enrollment is funded by the U.S. State Department.

Some immigration policy experts and college administrators attribute the decline to the Trump administration’s drive to restrict immigration and an overall sense of a U.S. political climate that is hostile to immigrants and foreigners.

“It is not a welcoming environment,” said Doug Rand, a former White House official working on immigration issues during the Obama administration.

He noted that Trump has moved to restrict the issuance of skilled-worker visas and permanent residency, which many incoming students may apply for in the future.

“It’s an act of willful ignorance to suggest that our immigration policies aren’t having a direct impact on foreign student enrollment,” Rand said.

Caroline Casagrande, a State Department official, said the “flattening” in international student enrollments began with the 2015-2016 year, prior to the start of the Trump administration. That year, new enrollments still increased by 2.4 percent compared with the prior year.

“The U.S. Department of State is committed to facilitating the legitimate travel to the United States of individuals who want to study in U.S. academic institutions,” Casagrande said during a phone call with reporters. “It’s quite frankly unwarranted to say that it is completely the result of a political environment.”

Cary Jensen, assistant vice provost for international advocacy and engagement at the University of Rochester in New York, said international students had been receiving more scrutiny from the U.S. government since the Sept. 11 attacks, but that “this last year and a half has just taken it to another level.”

Jensen said a major issue facing American universities was the lack of clarity surrounding the Trump administration’s policies, in part due to lengthy court battles over policies like Trump’s travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries.

“That has kind of been the worst part of this, is the uncertainty,” Jensen said. “That breeds fear and people tend to overreact.”

The administration is pursuing concrete steps to restrict visa policy regarding international students. Last month, it said it would seek to establish a fixed maximum period of stay for international students. Students currently can stay for an indefinite duration of study, and exchange advocates worry such a change would make it harder to recruit students and limit their flexibility once they are in the country.

In August, the administration changed the way international and exchange visitors are found to accrue “unlawful presence,” a violation that could result in being barred from the country for up to 10 years. Several colleges sued over the change, arguing it would cause the “banishment of untold numbers of international students and exchange visitors acting in good faith.”

The total number of new international students in the United States in 2017-2018 grew by 1.5 percent to a record high of nearly 1.1 million, but it was the smallest year-over-year increase since 2005. The growth in total enrollment was driven by a nearly 16 percent increase in the number of students opting to remain in the United States after finishing their studies for short-term work known as “optional practical training.”]]>
11/13/2018 4:13:52 PM
<![CDATA[6 curious stories behind the origin of Egyptian dishes]]>
The Egyptian traditional cuisine has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. But do you know the origin of some of the renowned Egyptian dishes?

Here is a list of the history of some traditional Egyptian dishes:

1- Molokhia:

Molokhia means royal. It dates back to the ancient Egyptian era and is also known as Jute or Jews Mallow. The ancient Egyptians didn’t eat this plant, as they thought it was poisonous, and named it “Khia”.

2
Molokhia, Egypt’s cuisine, July 4, 2012 – Cc via Wikimedia Commons.

During the Hyksos occupation, Egyptians recognized that Molokhia has many health benefits and that it was nontoxic when Hyksos decided to kill Egyptians by forcing them to eat this plant.

Egyptians were forbidden to eat Molokhia during the reign of Caliph Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah -a ninth-century ruler of Egypt. Some stories say that he banned it because Caliph Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan –the founder of the Umayyad dynasty-liked it, while others claim that he prohibited it, as he thought it led men and women to commit sins.

2- Koshari:

Koshari is one of the most popular dishes in Egypt, although it was first made by the Indians who named it “Khichdi” which means a dish with rice and lentils. During World War I, Egyptians knew Koshari through their dealings with Indian soldiers who came with the British troops to Egypt in November 1914.

5
Koshari dish, Egypt’s food, November 25, 2014 – Cc via Wikimedia Commons.

Egyptians did not only adopt this dish, they also added their ingredients to it such as: fried onion, white vinegar, chili sauce, chick peas, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.

Ibn Battuta, the renowned Muslim traveler of the14th century, was the first person to mention Koshari in his book "A Gift to those who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling."

3- Umm Ali dessert:

Umm Ali is a popular Egyptian dessert and one of the most delicious dishes in the Egyptian cuisine. The name of Umm Ali means Ali’s mother and there is a bloody story behind the name of this dessert.

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Umm Ali dessert, Egypt’s sweet pastry dish – Cc via Wikimedia Commons.

This dessert was made to celebrate the death of Shajarat Al-Durr, who was the second wife of Sultan Izz El-Din Aybak, the first Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. Shajarat Al-Durr was an immensely powerful woman. She forbade her husband Aybak from seeing his first wife, Umm Ali, and his son, Ali.

Sultan Ayabk became aggressive with Shajarat Al-Durr; she was also informed that he was planning to marry a Turkish princess, so she killed him.

After the assassination of Sultan Ayabk, Umm Ali decided to take revenge from Shajarat Al-Durr for killing her husband and conspiring against her son Ali to prevent him from sitting on the throne.

Umm Ali ordered her maids to kill Shajarat Al-Durr in her bathtub by beating her with clogs. In order to celebrate the death of Shajarat Al-Durr, Umm Ali ordered her cooks to create a new and delicious dessert and distribute it throughout Egypt after adding a gold coin to every bowl.

All Egyptians were happy with this dessert and the golden coin; they named this dessert “Umm Ali.”

4- Aroust Al-Moulid dessert:

Arousat Al-Moulid means sugar bride. It is one of the most important ways of celebrating the birth of prophet Mohamed –peace and blessings be upon him- in Egypt.

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A man selling traditional toys and sweets to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad in Cairo, Dec. 30, 2014. (Photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

Some historians say that when the soldiers of Fatimid Caliph Al-Mustansir Billah defeated the tribes which attacked Egypt, the caliph ordered his sweets divan to cook new desserts and distribute them among the public to honor the soldiers’ victory, so the confectioners came up with the sugar bride.

Other historians say that Aroust Al-Moulid was inspired by the Shiite’s Fatima doll, which commemorates their love to Lady Fatima – the daughter of prophet Mohamed- during the prophet’s birthday. Egyptians knew Aroust Al-Moulid when the Shiite came to Egypt.

However, the majority of historians believed that Aroust Al-Moulid appeared during the reign of Caliph Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah, when he allowed his wife to accompany him to Al Moulid parade – on the prophet’s birthday, where she wore a glamorous white dress and a crown of jasmine flowers on her head.

The public decided to depict her and Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah by sculpturing a sugar bride and a groom on his horse.

5- Swaba Zainab dessert:

Swaba Zainab dessert means Zainab’s fingers; it is one of the famous desserts in Egypt.
Swaba Zainab dates back to 1260 AD, when Al-Malik Al-Zahir Rukn Al Din Baibars - the fourth Sultan of Egypt- returned to Egypt after defeating the Mongols and he decided to celebrate his victory by ordering to bake and give away sweets to the Egyptians.

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Swaba Zainab, Egyptian dessert, December 7, 2016 – Cc via Wikimedia Commons.

Sultan Baibars admired the new dish dearly and asked the chief about its named. The chief responded “Swaba Zainab”, referring to the baker, Zainab, who made it.

6- Kunafa:

Kunafa is one of the most delicious desserts; its selling prospers during the Holy month of Ramadan.

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Kunafa dessert, September 21, 2015 –CC via Wikimedia Commons.

Some historians said Kunafa dates back to the Umayyad Caliphate, when Caliph Muawiya Ibn Abu Sufyan was always complaining about hunger during the fasting hours of Ramadan, and one of his cooks prepared a rich dish to help him endure fasting.

Other Islamic historians said that Kunafa appeared in Egypt when Caliph Al-Muizz Li-Din Allah entered Egypt; the Egyptians welcomed him by presenting a dish of kunafa.
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11/12/2018 4:56:59 PM
<![CDATA[MECSC grants CFCM silver award for hosting World Cup Trophy Tour at RECon MENA 2018]]>
This award comes as celebration of the Mall’s execution of the exceptional event for the World Trophy Tour campaign by Coca Cola, which included a number or entertaining sports activities in celebration of Egypt’s participation in the World Cup.

“It is a great honor for Cairo Festival City Mall to receive the valuable NOI award for hosting a huge event showing our advance in marketing strategies. It positions us as the ultimate “Place to Be” in Egypt. It also shows the growing progress of the mall to being the top favorite destination in East Cairo and the biggest cosmopolitan entertainment hub in Egypt”, stated Sam Hosn, Group Asset Director from CFCM.

“Despite the sweeping success of the World Cup Trophy Tour campaign, CFCM faced many challenges to make the biggest football event come out as huge as it did.

Securing the World Cup was a very challenging task as the security precautions were extremely tight and audited by the International FIFA team. However, CFCM has managed to provide the necessary means to make the event safe, secure and enjoyable for the attendees who have been anticipating this huge football event for 28 years.

Making a celebration of every big event is deeply rooted within our philosophy as we care about sharing joyful moments and experiences with our visitors.” Hosn added.

The Middle East Council for Shopping Centers (MECSC) is the largest regional organization that represents the voice of retail industry in the Middle East, North Africa region. This year, it hosted RECon MENA 2018, the biggest conferences that gathered all regional and global retailers, shopping center owners, management, and service providers to explore the potentials of the retail industry in the region.
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11/11/2018 6:06:00 PM
<![CDATA[Tourism min., Thomas Cook Group CEO discuss boosting ties]]>
In a press release, the Ministry of Tourism said that the meeting was attended by a number of leaderships in Thomas Cook Group, head of the Tourism Promotion Authority Ahmed Youssef and tourism advisor in London Amr el Ezzaby.

Fankhauser said that more tourists are wishing to spend their vacation in Egypt especially in Luxor and Marsa Allam cities. He wished that Egypt will launch a direct flight to Sharm el Sheikh to receive more tourists.

The minister noted that there are a lot of opportunities for tourism investment in Egypt especially in New Alamin area that was inaugurated recently by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as well as other areas in the Red Sea region.

Mashat asserted that the government is giving great attention to the tourism industry as one of the main pillars of Egypt's national economy. She noted that her ministry is cooperating and coordinating with the ministries antiquities and civil aviation to develop the tourism sector.]]>
11/10/2018 11:17:04 AM
<![CDATA[“Egypt is Safe” marathon kicks off from Edfu to Marsa Alam]]>
As many as 90 Egyptian competitors along with 40 participants from foreign countries partake in the 250-km marathon, which is organized by Sukari Mine.

The foreign competitors are coming from the UK, Australia, Burkina Faso, South Africa and Canada.


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11/9/2018 4:28:50 PM
<![CDATA[Tourists tell CNN media reflected wrong picture on Egypt’s security situation]]>
The tourists appeared in a video arguing that the international media did not reflect the real picture of the security situation in the country, adding that they negatively exaggerated incidents.

They said they have found this picture portrayed by media untrue when they visited the country themselves, expressing enjoyment of their holidays in Egypt that they intend to visit it again.

“I have been in Egypt as a tourist 18 times. My first time was now nearly 20 years ago,” one of the tourists stated, naming a number of ancient monuments and tourists attractions she loves in Egypt.

“I’m here already since long time. I live in Egypt already since over 15 years; all this time I have never been afraid to be here,” another tourist said. She also complained that media sometimes exaggerate events, and “make a lot of nothing.”

“I can just only say Egypt is a fantastic country. It is safe. Nobody has to be afraid to fly over here,” she added.

Another tourist said that the internet and the press abroad say that difficult things happen here which he says “was holding [him] back a little bit,” adding he thought “military [will] always be around which is not the case.”

The number of tourist to Egypt increased by 41 percent in the first half of 2018 to 5.061 million tourists, Reuters reported, while the tourism sector revenues increased by 77 percent in the same period to $4.791.

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11/9/2018 9:00:00 AM