Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said that his ministry spent about EGP 1.6bn on tourism promotion and aviation stimulation programmes during fiscal year (FY) 2021/22.
The Minister added that spending on aviation stimulus amounted to EGP 850m during FY 2021/22, and EGP 800m for promoting Egyptian tourist destinations.
Issa added during the first press conference with the journalists since his appointment that the expenses of the external offices of the ETBP have been reduced from $25m to $5m, in addition to reducing their number from 17 to 6 offices only that supervise the tourist markets exporting incoming traffic to Egypt.
Issa explained that the ministry plays the role of regulator over 8,000 licensed tourism facilities in Egypt that is represented by 1,200 hotels, 2,200 tourism companies, in addition to 1,400 restaurants, 2,200 bazaars, and 480 diving and marine activities centers.
Issa indicated that there are 3 axes or priorities that his ministry will work on during the coming period in order to be able to achieve the target of reaching 30 million tourists annually and revenues of $30bn by 2030. These three axes are increasing the number of airline seats to Egypt by 3 times, improving the tourism experience, and enhancing the tourism investment climate.
Issa said that in order to reach the targeted 30 million tourists annually, the plan also requires increasing the hotel capacity from 211,000 rooms to 500,000 rooms with an annual increase ranging from 25 to 30%, compared to only 1% annual increase since 2018 until now.
Talking about the Antiquities, the Minister said that the Supreme Council of Antiquities, as the institution responsible for the antiquities sector in Egypt, spent approximately EGP3.1 bn on that sector during the past FY, while the revenues from visit tickets recorded EGP1bn during the same year.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the amount spent is not considered large compared to the volume of the efforts and work done.
“We have in Egypt approximately 2,160 archaeological sites and 43 museums, of which 31 are open for visits, and we have 250 foreign archeological missions in Egypt that excavate for antiquities,” he revealed.
The minister affirmed the state’s interest in developing cultural tourism and increasing the number of cultural tourists interested in archaeological sites and museums.
He concluded by stressing that working as one team in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Egyptian Tourism Federation, which represents the private sector with tourism investors and businessmen, is a major reason for the success of the tourism industry, which relies heavily on the private sector.
Issa added that he is keen to communicate with the private sector on a daily and continuous basis and to listen to them and their proposals in order to advance this industry, whether through the Federation, or tourism chambers and associations of tourism investors.
The meeting was attended by Youmna Al-Bahar, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Abied, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, Head of the Recovered Antiquities Department, Ayman Ashmawy, Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Department, Moamen Othman, Head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and Ahmed Rahima, Assistant Minister of Tourism for Human Resources.