Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou met German travel agents to promote Egypt as a tourist destination at a workshop in Al-Gouna resort on Saturday.
Zaazou told attendees that tourism is one of the country’s top priorities and a vital source of foreign currency and employment opportunities.
Up to 25 German tourism companies participated in the workshop, which aimed to facilitate direct contact between the German companies and Egyptian tourism leaders. Additionally, the workshop provided German participants with the opportunity to explore the current situation in Egypt through several organised visits and excursions.
Zaazou stated that 500,000 German tourists visited Egypt during the first half of the year, an increase of a third compared to the same period 2011. Zaazou added that Europe will remain Egypt’s major tourism partner, as it accounts for more than 70 percent of visitor numbers.
“The number of German tourists is expected to return to previous levels, reaching more than a million tourists this year,” said Elhamy el-Zayat, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF). In terms of tourist numbers to Egypt, Germany is second only to Russia.
Participants at the workship discussed important issues such as obstacles related to flights, traffic problems in Cairo, the security situation and booking price negotiation, el-Zayat said.
Revitalising tourism in Luxor and Aswan was part of the discussions he said, as “tourism in Luxor and Aswan has become very weak.”
The German Tourism Association (GTA) announced last year the resumption of trips to Egypt soon after the 25 January uprising, stating that Egypt and Tunisia represented Germans’ favourite tourist destinations worldwide in 2010. The number of German tourists visiting Egypt in 2010 reached 1.1 million.