CAIRO - 4 June 2023: In the past nine years, Egypt's Tourism Sector has seen remarkable attention from the political leadership, in light of its significance as a vital economic sector. The government, under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's administration, has worked diligently to boost this sector, ensuring that it remains competitive with other global tourist destinations.
The state, represented by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, strives to improve and elevate the quality of tourism services offered to visitors. The ultimate goal is to provide tourists with a unique experience, which is in line with the national strategy for tourism development in Egypt. This strategy aims to achieve rapid growth, ranging from 25 to 30 percent annually in Egypt's tourism industry.
This rapid growth is facilitated by improving accessibility to Egyptian tourist destinations, multiplying the number of airline seats to Egypt in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, stimulating and enhancing the investment environment, and improving the touristic experience at Egyptian destinations.
In a notable move, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi approved Law No. 27 of 2023, which pertains to the establishment and regulation of tourism chambers. This law aligns with one of the primary axes of the national tourism strategy in Egypt. It is a significant step on the path to improving the investment climate in Egypt and enhancing the role of tourism chambers in the tourism industry.
The new law falls within the legislative reforms adopted by the ministry, especially given the previous law was issued in 1968, and many of its provisions no longer align with the current circumstances. This necessitated an urgent need to update the legislative organization of the tourism chambers and their union, to ensure optimal performance of their duties, fulfilling the constitutional mandate set out in Articles 76 and 77 of the Egyptian constitution.
The new law aims to balance and maintain consistency in the organization, establishment, and management of tourism chambers and their unions based on a democratic foundation that supports their independence in accordance with the constitution and within the general policy of the state.
This law also provides legal protection to the assets of the chambers as prescribed for public money in the application of the Penal Code. Furthermore, the law will regulate the elections of the management boards of the tourism chambers and their unions, ensuring that these elections genuinely reflect the will of the general assemblies of the chambers and the union.
In essence, the law is designed to generate the best elements to represent the members of the chambers and the union, underpinning the strategy of growth in Egypt's Tourism Sector.
The government has adopted several measures to bolster the tourism sector, including launching the Egyptian Hajj and Umrah portal to prevent brokers from exploiting Egyptians wishing to perform Hajj and Umrah. The human resources of the Tourism Sector have been upskilled, structural reform programs have been implemented, and new tourism markets have been opened. Moreover, innovative promotional plans targeting diverse tourist categories, especially the youth, have been introduced, significantly enhancing the quality of Egyptian tourism product to compete with global markets.
A key decision by the state, represented by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in coordination with the relevant security agencies, was to provide entry facilitation to Egypt. It allows over 180 nationalities to obtain an emergency entry visa at the arrival ports, provided they hold entry visas for the USA, UK, Schengen countries, Japan, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. This increases the inbound tourism traffic to Egypt and gives additional facilitation for arrivals to ports and airports in South Sinai.
The Central Bank of Egypt has agreed to include the cost of converting hotel and tourist establishments to green establishments and the cost of converting tourist vehicles to natural gas-operated vehicles within the replacement and renewal initiative. It also approved the inclusion of works to improve the efficiency of communication services and internet speed within this initiative.
With its rich and diverse natural, historical, and human resources and a unique cultural heritage, Egypt has utilized its resources optimally to provide exceptional infrastructure and services. The strategic goal is to increase Egypt's competitiveness, encourage investment opportunities, improve human resources, use modern technology, and apply the best ways to promote tourism locally and internationally to attract the largest number of tourists from different markets, encourage domestic tourism, and increase tourism awareness.