By Yasser Hakim
When it comes to buried treasure, it’s hard to match Egypt. With its vast experience as a tourist destination, the country is now hosting a training course for travel representatives from other African countries.
Egypt has vast experience in tourism. It’s long been a major earner for the country. Now, it’s sharing its expertise with its African neighbours.
“Our lecture is not an academic one but more of a case-study type of session. There’s a lot of experience here in Egypt, and to be honest I believe several of these countries need Egypt’s experience. I’m delighted to see how happy they are with the information we provided,” said Hasan Selim, head of Training Dep., Ministry of Tourism.
26 trainees from 18 African countries are attending the course – many of them from emerging countries in tourism.
“I am happy to participate in this training program in Egypt, because in our country we are still targeting one million tourists a year which we have not had yet. With the experience I’ve had with this training session and our experience, I hope we are going to learn from the Egyptian government who are really targeting 20 million tourists for 2020, and we are targeting for 6 million before the year,” said Anot Julitz, Tourism Promotion Dep., Ministry of Tourism, Cameroon.
The 2-week course, sponsored by Egypt, covers marketing, developing hospitality services, and improving human-resource capabilities.
“Part of our plan in the ministry is the exchange of expertise and to relay our experience to the Nile-basin countries and the rest of Africa. We started a program last March in cooperation with the Partnership for Development division, and the success led to more African countries requesting to join in today’s courses,” said Samy Abdel Aziz, Media and Tourism professor, Cairo University.
The trainees have considerable background in tourism. Yet they hope they can also adopt what they have learned here.
“Well, Nigeria is endowed with a lot of tourism resources, both natural, man made, historical, and cultural. Nigeria has a tourism masterplan already in operation. Clusters have been identified in the country. It has been demarcated into sectors, we have the scenic view in central Nigeria,” said Halima Sani, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Nigeria.
“All the strategies here, I am going to write it and propose to my hierarchy so that we should work in collaboration with the Egyptian government in order to increase our tourism arrivals in Cameroon,” Anot Julitz said.
The tourism ministry says the courses are a success and that it’s planning to host a larger delegation next time.
Egypt hopes such training programs will not only benefit the tourism industry for the entire continent but also create closer connections with other African countries.