Ahmed Youssef, CEO of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB) at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, has participated in an international summit on the recovery of tourism, held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Youssef attended the event on behalf of Khaled El-Anany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, with a significant number of African Tourism Ministers and industry leaders also in attendance.
The summit aims to discuss and review the precautionary measures and health and safety controls used to limit the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It also looked at the policies and measures undertaken by countries to mitigate the economic effects of the global health crisis, alongside work to accelerate the pace of recovery and build tourism again.
This summit also sheds light on the re-discovery of new ways to build the African tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus.
Youssef said that the summit is a strong platform for exchanging tourism ideas, and an opportunity to hold professional meetings with tourism representatives and officials from Africa.
This would contribute to formulating comprehensive strategies of development for the African tourism sector, especially in light of the presence of many trade and economic agreements that bring Egypt together with its African neighbours.
He noted that African destinations are distinguished by their diversity, with the continent representing a promising tourist market that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.
During the summit, Egypt participated in the dialogue session held to prepare for the resumption of tourism and the development of intra-African tourism.
Youssef spoke about the efforts of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities during the COVID-19 crisis to resume and reignite the tourist movement. This took place with a keenness to preserve the safety of workers in the sector, as well as domestic and international tourists.
He explained that the Egyptian tourist destination is characterised by its diversity and richness, along with its possession of a strong infrastructure that contributes significantly to serving the tourism sector.
Youssef also talked about the Egyptian state’s efforts to support the tourism sector and provide incentives to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis. It has put in place a series of recovery rules, and applied precautionary measures and health and safety controls to ensure tourist movement resumes.
This is in addition to Egypt’s keenness to carry out sterilisation and disinfection work at all tourist places, museums, archaeological sites, airports, and hotels.
He pointed to the end of the vaccination campaign for tourism sector workers in the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates. He pointed to the significant increase in the number of incoming tourists to Egypt since the resumption of tourism to the country in July 2020.
Youssef added that tourism is one of the most important and promising fields in Egypt that achieves integration between African countries, with the sector a factor in developing sustainable development.
On the side-lines of this summit, he held a number of bilateral meetings with participating officials, to discuss ways to develop relations between Egypt and various African countries. This included a meeting with tourism ministers and participating delegations from Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, and Botswana. During the meetings, Youssef proposed the idea of establishing an African Tourism Organization.