President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has directed the government to continue supporting the country’s tourism sector in the face of international developments, including the coronavirus pandemic and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, both major sources of tourists for Egypt.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany on Saturday, El-Sisi called on the government to make sure that tourists currently in Egypt are enjoying their stay.
El-Enany also touched upon the ministry’s initiatives for encouraging domestic and international tourism in Egypt, reviewing the most prominent tourism exporting markets to Egypt, according to a statement by Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.
Reviewing the rate of tourism to Egypt over the past year, El-Enany told the president that the tourism sector had largely recovered during the last quarter of 2021.
He described the latest developments in the tourism sector on the heels of the Ukrainian crisis, as well as the measures taken to ensure the return of stranded tourists to their homelands.
Following the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February, Egypt paid for the stay of all Ukrainian and Russian tourists at three-star Egyptian hotels, with Egyptian airlines flying out Ukrainian tourists who wanted to return at the expense of the Egyptian government.
More than 700,000 Russians visited Egypt in 2021, thanks in part to the resumption of direct flights from Moscow to the Red Sea resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada in August of the same year. The first two weeks of 2022 alone saw the arrival of 125,000 Russians.
The resumption of Russian flights to the coastal Egyptian cities came after a hiatus since 2015 over a Russian plane crash over Sinai, before which some 3.3 million Russians visited Red Sea resorts in 2014.
Ukrainians have also significantly contributed to the Egyptian tourism sector, with up to 1.2 million tourists visiting Egypt from July 2020 to July 2021.
Saturday’s meeting also tackled ways of encouraging domestic tourism in the future as well as ongoing efforts to increase the number of inbound tourists from alternative markets, the statement added.
The talks also addressed the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to support tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh, in addition to the latest updates concerning green transition and upping the efficiency of the internet at hotels and tourist destinations.
Source: Ahram Online