UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, (pictured, left), has expressed the organizations’ full confidence in the recovery of tourism in Egypt following a recent visit to the country.
Rifai met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou. The president reiterated his full support to the tourism sector and its utmost determination in ensuring that Egypt is a safe, attractive and leading tourism destination saying “if tourism recovers, Egypt will recover.”
“Egypt has undertaken strong initiatives in terms of communications with the competent authorities and public opinion in source markets on safety and security issues, unlocking the support of airlines and tour operators, incentivizing demand and engaging key players in Egypt in these concerted efforts. I trust these actions will herald results in restoring confidence and accelerating the recovery of tourism to Egypt,” said Rifai.
Rifai also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, to discuss the co-operation between the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs and UNWTO, including Egypt’s chairmanship of the UNWTO Executive Council and the forthcoming UNWTO City Tourism Summit taking place in Egypt later this year.
Opening Egypt´s Tourism 2016 Conference “Planning for Growth,” Rifai recalled that there is a strong pent up demand for tourism to Egypt, from source markets, both within and outside the region.
“We should never forget that Egypt is one of the world’s most remarkable tourism success stories. Over the last decade, the number of visitors to Egypt practically tripled and so did the exports generated by international tourism. Egypt is, and will continue to be, despite all challenges, a leading tourism destination.”