Egypt Launches Six-Part Plan to Boost Tourism
PHOTO: Egypt's pyramids. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Egypt’s tourism industry has fallen on hard times, but there are hopes that it can be revived and the new tourism minister, Yehia Rashed, has a plan to reinvigorate the country’s flagging economy.
"My one and only goal is to bring huge numbers of tourists back to Egypt,” said Rashed. “To do this we need concerted action and partnership with Egyptian and international tourism stakeholders. The 6x6 Tourism Impact Plan is all about action that brings together the priority areas of Egyptian tourism, providing support and enhancements as we move forward.”
Rashed has detailed the the six main priorities of the plan which include the following:
1) A New Partnership: The plan calls for Egypt to work with international tourism partners to restore success.
2) Bring the World to Egypt: According to Rashed, it is important to begin working in partnership with EgyptAir to develop new destinations and to support charter and low-cost airline companies in bringing more tourists to Egypt.
3) Innovation and Investment: Rashed’s plan includes enhancing Egypt's tourism infrastructure by supporting investors and innovating with new ideas.
4) Raise the Bar: The new plan looks to meet the highest international standards through upgraded product and service levels at tourist facilities.
5) Attract International Investment: The plan calls for working to bring foreign direct investment to Egyptian tourism.
6) A Future in Green Tourism: In the plan, the country would like to develop the growing trend in Egyptian tourism of sustainable, eco-friendly accommodation, transportation and activities.
In regards to this new proposal, Rashed said: “The commitment to see these six priority areas have an impact over a six-month time frame is very ambitious. But I am also ambitious for our tourism sector. I want to see positive action and for that action to have an immediate impact. 6x6 allows us to focus our energies on the most important elements.”
Tourism is one of Egypt’s most important economic drivers and, after a peak in 2010, the numbers of visitors to the country have been on a downward spiral. In 2010, the country saw 14.7 million visitors in the country but after the Arab spring, tourism declined over the next few years as the country was plagued by political and economic insecurity. However, it was on an upswing during the last two years until the downing of a Russian plane by terrorists. Still the World Travel & Tourism Council predicts that tourism in the country will grow at a moderate pace this year. And, with a new plan of action, Egypt could be on the road to a recovery for its tourism sector.
"This is the start of an exciting time and opportunity for Egyptian tourism," said Rashed. "This will return Egypt to being one of the most sought after places to visit in the world."
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