Mashat meets SCTH chairman in Dubai, says Egypt to change ‘stereotypical image of tourism’



Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 03:56 GMT


Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 03:56 GMT

FILE- Tourism Minister Rania al Mashat

FILE- Tourism Minister Rania al Mashat

CAIRO - 29 April 2019: Tourism Minister Rania al Mashat meet Monday with Ahmad bin Aqil al-Khatib, Chairman of Board of Directors for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) on the sideline of her participation at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai.

The meeting discussed boosting tourism cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia along with the joint tourism promotion to increase the Arab tourism traffic between the two countries.

The meeting was attended by Ahmed Youssef, Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Promotion. Mashat accompanied al Khatib on a tour inside the Egyptian pavilion in ATM, as he expressed his admiration for the Egyptian pavilion and the new technological and promotional methods used in it.

During the meeting, Mashat pointed out that Saudi Arabia ranks the first Arab country exporting for tourism to Egypt. She stressed on the importance of the Arab tourism, which represents nearly 30 percent of the total tourism volume to Egypt, according to Mashat.

Mashat affirmed that Egypt welcomes all tourists from all over the world, especially the Arab countries.

Al Khatib said that Saudi Arabia is keen on boosting tourism relations with Egypt and to cooperate with it to develop the sector in both countries.

ATM which launched on April 28, is expected to continue until in United Arab Emirates until May 1.

CNN Interview

On the sideline of Mashat’s participation in ATM, Mashat spoke to CNN on Tourism in Egypt.

She explained the ministry’s plan to change the stereotypical image of Egyptian tourism, pointing out the importance of sustainable tourism as one of the main axes of the government’s vision.

Mashat also explained that the ministry has developed the concept of ‘sustainable tourism’, which is responsible as a major strategic element in the structural reform program launched last November by the ministry to develop the tourism sector and ensure sustainable economic growth in line with national and global sustainable development goals.

The minister pointed to the importance of tourism in Egypt as one of the main supporting sectors to the country’s national economy.

Mashat also referred that Egypt’s efforts to preserve the country’s security and stability has helped to raise tourism rate in the country up to 16.5 percent, which considers to be the best rate Egypt has recorded since 2010 according to Mashat.

Last January, Mashat conducted another interview with CNN, in which she revealed that Egypt’s Grand Museum is to be launched in 2020 and that its complete management is expected to be either international or domestically private, as part of the government plan to step away from managing many of the ancient sites.

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.

Mashat departed Cairo on Sunday to UAE. Before leaving, she 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. Several meetings expected to 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.



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