Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, received on Sunday François Cornet d’Elzius, the Ambassador of Belgium in Cairo, to discuss ways of enhancing joint cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism and antiquities.
The meeting was also attended by Yemenite Al-Bahar, Assistant Minister for Technical Affairs, and Minister Plenipotentiary Dalia Abdel Fattah, General Supervisor of the General Department of International Relations and Agreements at the Ministry.
The minister began the meeting by welcoming the ambassador, stressing the strong relations between Egypt and Belgium, which are characterized by cooperation in various fields, especially tourism and antiquities.
During the meeting, the Minister referred to the developments of the incoming tourism movement to Egypt from the Belgian market during the past period compared to the past years. Increasing the number of incoming tourism to Egyptian tourist destinations by 25% to 30% annually, and thus increasing revenues, and providing a different tourism product and experience for tourists in Egypt, especially in light of the diverse tourist and archaeological components of the Egyptian tourist destination of beautiful nature and shining sun and warm and sunny beaches, in addition to museums and archaeological sites, and tourists can enjoy the different tourist patterns and products that the Egyptian tourist destination enjoys, including beach and leisure tourism, cultural tourism, family tourism, adventures and other diverse tourism products.
The minister also indicated that it is scheduled to implement tourism programs for the delegations participating in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which Egypt will host in Sharm El-Sheikh next November to a number of Egyptian tourist cities, including Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan and others to introduce them to the tourism potentials and the archaeological enjoyment of the Egyptian tourist destination.
During the meeting, they discussed enhancing means of cooperation to attract more tourist traffic to Egypt from Belgium, in addition to discussing the possibility of Egypt’s participation in the most important cultural events to be held in the State of Belgium during the coming period. The file of recovering the Egyptian antiquities that came out of Egypt illegally to the state of Belgium was also discussed, as the minister stressed the Egyptian state’s keenness to recover all the Egyptian antiquities smuggled outside the country.
For his part, the ambassador of Belgium indicated that the State of Belgium will organize an exhibition during the coming period at the Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis district to shed light on the visit of Queen Elizabeth of Belgium to Egypt in the early twentieth century, by showing a group of films and documents documenting this visit. Belgium will also organize many other cultural events in Egypt.