Home » Africa: “Egypt’s Ambitious Goal: Doubling Tourist Arrivals to 30 Million by 2028”

Africa: “Egypt’s Ambitious Goal: Doubling Tourist Arrivals to 30 Million by 2028”

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Egypt tourists

Egypt, known for its ancient wonders and rich history, is setting its sights on an ambitious goal to double the number of tourists visiting the country in the next five years.

According to abcnews.go.com, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, revealed this bold aspiration in an interview with The Associated Press.

Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Egypt is determined to attract 30 million visitors by the year 2028.

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“We’re seeing unparalleled demand, unprecedented demand for travel into Egypt,” Issa stated confidently, reflecting the positive momentum in the country’s tourism sector.

In the first eight months of 2023 alone, Egypt welcomed 10 million tourists, putting it on a promising trajectory to achieve around 15 million by the end of the year—a remarkable feat for the tourism industry.

Tourism plays a pivotal role in Egypt’s economy, providing much-needed foreign currency. In 2022, tourism revenues soared to $10.7 billion, a significant increase from approximately $5 billion in 2021, according to data from the Egyptian central bank.

READ: Africa: Egypt breaks record with 1.35 million tourists in April 2023

The government’s strategy to achieve this ambitious goal is focused on the “supply side.” Key initiatives include increasing the number of hotel rooms and flight seats to Egypt by more than 30% annually, alongside encouraging greater private investment in the tourism sector.

Issa revealed plans to add 25,000 hotel rooms to Egypt’s current capacity of around 210,000. This expansion, he believes, will help the government attain its target of 18 million tourist visits in 2024.

“This will be the fastest growth in hotel rooms in Egypt over the past 20 years,” he noted, highlighting the magnitude of the endeavor.

Egypt has been on a years-long journey to revive its beleaguered tourism industry, which suffered setbacks during and after the 2011 popular uprising that led to the ousting of long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The country received over 14 million tourists in 2010, but subsequent turmoil took its toll.

The pandemic, followed by the conflict in Ukraine, delivered another blow to the industry just as it was beginning to recover. In response, Egypt has been actively promoting its rich ancient history as a major selling point, publicizing pharaonic discoveries, and renovating museums and tourist sites across the nation.

Speaking to the AP from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Ali Abdel-Halim, the museum director, shared that the institution was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, drawing an average of 10,000 visitors daily. The museum’s collection includes tens of thousands of antiquities, some of which have never been exhibited.

In recent years, the Egyptian government initiated the renovation of the museum in collaboration with five major European institutions, including the British Museum and the Louvre in Paris. This multi-phase project, partly funded by the European Union, involves the comprehensive restoration of the museum building, which was designed by renowned French architect Marcel Dourgnon.

While the central Cairo museum has been a historic repository of Egyptian heritage treasures, many artifacts, including the prized royal mummies, have been transferred to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Grand Egyptian Museum, located near the iconic Giza Pyramids.

Ahmed Issa shared that they are diligently working to complete construction and finalize installations at the Grand Egyptian Museum by the end of the year, preparing for a grand opening ceremony that is expected to host world leaders.

“It’s going to be a magnificent day for the entire humanity that is interested in history and culture and archaeology and heritage,” Issa remarked, underscoring the significance of Egypt’s commitment to preserving and showcasing its unparalleled cultural legacy to the world.

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