Mohamed Kaoud, Chairman of the Tourism and Aviation Committee of the Egyptian Young Business Association (EJB), stressed the importance of defining a comprehensive plan, including alternatives, for Egypt’s tourism goals.
Kaoud’s remarks came during a symposium on the future of Egyptian tourism and the role of the private sector in tourism. The event was organized by the Tourism and Aviation Egyptian Association of Young Entrepreneurs (EJB).
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the outlook for the development of the tourism sector, he said.
He also affirmed the need to diversify tourism services through cooperation between public and private sectors, citing Egypt’s orientation towards building new cities with high quality services.
âEgypt has great potential to attract foreign investment in the tourism sector, especially in new cities like New Alamein, Galala and Marsa Alam,â Kaoud said.
He affirmed the importance of overcoming all obstacles that foreign investors face, and highlighted the initiative of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to support the tourism sector. He also affirmed the importance of determining the needs of each tourist town.
Kaoud called for more attention to entertainment tourism, especially as it attracts spendthrift tourists.
He urged the government to allow the private sector to invest in aviation and operate flights at new airports such as Sphinx International Airport and the airport serving the New Administrative Capital (NAC).
Kaoud stressed that event tourism will have a big role, stressing the need to easily offer visas for exhibitions and conferences at airports.
As for the recovery of traditional tourism, Kaoud expects this segment to recover within two years to 18 months.
He predicted a surge in this sector in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021, due to the mass vaccination campaigns taking place around the world.
Egyptian tourism revenues declined by 70% in 2020, recording revenues of just $ 13 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 2019, he said.
Kaoud also said that the volume of tourism revenue this year will reach $ 500 million per month, as Egypt has handled the implementation of anti-COVID-19 measures well.
Regarding the restoration of Russian tourism to Egypt to its previous rates, he clarified that the issue requires the operation of more commercial flights, in addition to charter flights. This includes operating flights from Sharm El Sheikh to all Russian cities and emphasizing the importance of participating in Russian exhibitions.
He stressed that Egypt needs more five-star hotel rooms, an issue that requires significant investment and cooperation between the government and the private sector.
Meanwhile, Ahmed El Shal, a member of the EJB’s tourism and aviation committee, said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a review of event tourism. This meant that the industry had to look for new ways to organize meetings and conferences.
El Shal noted that hybrid events have become a common way to increase attendance at traditional events at a lower cost.
Hybrid events are a trade show, conference, non-conference, seminar, workshop, or any other form of meeting that combines a âliveâ in-person event with a âvirtualâ online component.
Bahaa Al Abedi, a member of the EJB’s tourism and aviation committee, said there was a need to regulate the work of websites that book tourist trips to Egypt. This includes monitoring websites that sell tickets to Egypt, to ensure that all tour operators are certified by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The need for a green transformation in the tourism sector is both inevitable and essential, noted Al Abedi.
In the meantime, he praised the efforts of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Egyptian Tourism Authority to promote tourism in the country, despite the total or partial closures that have occurred around the world.
He also affirmed the importance of informing the private sector about the targeted marketing plans for each country.