Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, received Leslie Reed, Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Egypt and her accompanying delegation, to discuss ways of cooperation in the fields of tourism and antiquities.
The Minister praised the efforts made by the Agency in cooperation with Egypt in many development projects in the field of tourism, preserving antiquities and heritage, and enhancing and raising the efficiency of Tourist and archaeological sites.
During the meeting, the minister also spoke about the national strategy for tourism development in Egypt, pointing out that the ministry aims through this strategy to achieve an increase in the number of incoming tourism to Egypt at growth rates ranging between 25% and 30% annually.
For her part, Reid reviewed the agency’s activities during the coming period in the field of tourism and antiquities, expressing her appreciation for the development efforts of the Egyptian government, praising the role played by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to enhance and raise the efficiency of tourist and archaeological sites and the surrounding communities.
During the meeting, the ongoing projects between USAID and Egypt in the field of tourism and antiquities were discussed, including sustainable development in the tourism sector, organization of a number of workshops in eight archaeological sites in historic Cairo and Luxor was discussed, with the aim of raising the efficiency of the areas surrounding these archaeological sites.
The meeting also touched on the agreement on the climate change initiative, which was signed recently, and aims to improve national capabilities to mitigate the economic and environmental impacts of climate change in the areas of tourism and heritage preservation by preserving the biological diversity of coral reefs in the Red Sea and using early warning systems on coastal tourism destinations..
It should be noted that since the 1990s, the United States Agency for International Development has provided about $100m to preserve, restore and protect cultural heritage sites throughout Egypt, including projects to lower the groundwater level in the areas of Abul al-Hol in Giza, Kom Ombo and Edfu in Aswan, and Kom al-Shuqafa in Alexandria, and the Esna development project, and other projects for developing and raising the efficiency of services in tourist and archaeological sites, to support cultural tourism in historic Cairo and Luxor in light of the distinguished tourism potentials that these sites enjoy that make them important stations on the cultural tourism map.