Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, revealed a set of figures and statistics related to the tourism sector in Egypt
CAIRO - 15 December 2022: Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, revealed a set of figures and statistics related to the tourism sector in Egypt, explaining that his ministry plays its role as an organizer and supervisor of nearly 8,000 tourist facilities.
Issa said during a meeting with journalists covering the tourism and antiquities sector, that the Supreme Council of Antiquities, spent about LE 3.1 billion during 2022, from the council's income along with part of the state budget, within the efforts to establish new museums, develop archaeological sites and maintain antiquities.
He pointed out that revenues from visit tickets amounted to LE 1 billion during the same year.
The Ministry of Tourism spent LE 800 million on promotional campaigns abroad, during the fiscal year 2022/ 2023, in addition to LE 850 million to support and stimulate direct tourism aviation, with a total of LE 1.65 billion, the minister added.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the amount spent is not considered large compared to the volume of the huge work produced. “We have in Egypt approximately 2,160 archaeological sites and 43 museums, of which 31 are open for visits,” he said.
He elaborated that the ministr , as an owner, has more than 40 museums and 2,000 archaeological sites, of which 130 sites and 31 museums are open to visit, and there are about 250 archaeological missions working in the field of excavations for antiquities, while as an operator, it supervises 1,300 tourist restaurants, 1,200 hotels, 2,200 bazaars, and 480 diving centers, other than clubs licensed for tourism activities.
Issa added that the Supreme Council of Antiquities extends its role as a scientific and cultural institution that preserves, protects and records Egyptian antiquities in addition to excavating them, indicating that there are 250 foreign archaeological missions in Egypt that excavate for antiquities.
The minister affirmed the state's interest in developing cultural tourism and increasing the targeting of cultural tourists interested in archaeological sites and museums, because it is a competitive advantage that Egypt enjoys due to its archaeological sites, museums, treasures and monuments.
As for the ministry role, he stated that the ministry plays its role as an observer, organizer and catalyst, all with the aim of protecting the final consumer, who is the visitor or tourist, in order to improve the tourism service and the tourism experience provided in Egypt, and to advance the tourism industry.
Regarding the tourism promotion programs and aviation stimulus programs, the minister revealed that nearly LE 1.6 billion was spent on them during the fiscal year 2021/2022, in order to advance the tourism industry.
He added that global spending programs are being directed to serve the tourism industry and promotion programs are being prepared by launching various campaigns in a number of tourism-exporting markets in Egypt, in addition to civil aviation stimulus programs that will continue until next April.
Targeting to reach 30 million tourists
The minister clarified that the ministry is working on studying the challenges faced by the sector in order to reach 30 million tourists, noting that the highest tourist rate reached by Egypt was 14 million tourists in 2009/2010 season, followed by a decline in the rates to rebound in 2019 before being affected by the repercussions of COVID-19.
“Tourism is like other industries, that needs to study the challenges and problems in it to come up with solutions and set priorities, which is what is being worked on within the ministry at present,” he noted.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the Tourism Promotion Authority currently has six foreign offices in a number of countries in order to promote and stimulate tourism in Egypt.
According to Issa, since assuming his duties, he has been working on a number of tasks and setting priorities, perhaps the most important of which is reaching the 30 million tourists who visit Egypt every year.
He added that the assignments of Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly were to reach $30 billion in tourism within the 2030 plan, which the ministry is currently working on.
“Three priorities have been identified on which the ministry is based with regard to the tourism sector, the first axis, which is aviation, and there is joint coordination with the Ministry of Civil Aviation on a regular and continuous basis to increase the number of flights, seats and low-cost aviation, and the second axis is working to improve the tourism experience in Egypt. The third is based on improving the tourism investment climate,” Issa stated.
The minister also pointed out that reaching 30 million tourists annually requires an increase in the growth rate of tourist rooms in Egypt by 25% annually to accommodate these numbers, and therefore the ministry is working to encourage and attract tourism investments in Egypt, especially since the state has spent a lot and succeeded in rehabilitating the infrastructure and regional roads.
Furthermore, he stated that the ministry is seeking a diversity of hotel rooms, especially three-star rooms, and distributing them to the governorates, especially Luxor, Aswan and Qena, which urgently need hotel rooms, indicating that he will do a "Master Plan" for 3-star hotel rooms with the Ministry of Housing.
"Today we have a vision of a number of problems that the industry suffers from, and we seek to develop a scientific vision to reduce them, and I am optimistic about the year 2023,” the minister said.
He showcased that there are 1,200 hotel establishments in Egypt, 1,325 tourist restaurants, more than 2,400 tourist attractions, 480 diving centers and marine activities, in addition to more than 2,160 archaeological sites and 43 antiquities museums.
The Aviation Sector
The work on the current aviation incentive system will continue until May 1, 2023, as part of the efforts of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to support the incoming tourist movement to Egypt in light of the increased demand to visit Egypt, he stated.
Issa added that the number of incoming tourists has improved at the present time, and according to the official statistics that were sent to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, what is being done on the ground of the state's efforts has directly contributed to restoring the tourism movement.
Issa added that in the coming period, the focus will be on increasing the capacity of direct tourism aviation thrice the current capacity, which is expected through incoming traffic from 12 foreign countries, while providing an appropriate climate and fertile environment for investment, noting that the first steps to work on increasing the effectiveness of government efforts were developing an accurate description of the role of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as an owner and operator, in order to make the best use of the available capabilities.
He added that his meetings with the associations of tourist investors during the past period witnessed an emphasis on the need for a common language between the ministry and investors, and continued understanding and joint work, to serve Egypt's primary goal of attracting 30 million tourists.