TRAVELWORLD INTERVIEWS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EGYPTIAN TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD
Eng. Ahmed Youssef, Chairman of The Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board, invites us back to Egypt!
We are proud of interviewing Eng. Ahmed Youssef, CEO of The Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board at Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.
Under the direction of Eng. Youssef, the Country’s marketing strategies and promotion campaigns have been designed and developed and are aimed at encouraging and maximizing tourist incoming in Egypt. He is working closely with both public and private entities. This assignment is particularly significant in this historical moment, which is experiencing difficult situations following the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on global tourism.
Egypt is ready to welcome international tourism, after having implemented a plan that includes numerous targeted interventions, focused on all tourist sites, from seaside to cultural ones, which have always attracted tourists from all over the world. People are eager to learn about the archaeological heritage of ancient Egypt and enjoy the natural beauty of the Red Sea, South Sinai and Mediterranean locations.
In recent months, we have seen, step by step, the huge measures taken by the Egyptian government to reorganize tourist sites, financially support companies and workers, sanitize and secure the Country with a view to protecting both Egyptians and tourists.
Eng. Youssef, do you think that the measures taken to relaunch tourism at an international level have been sufficiently perceived abroad?
I believe the measures have been taken by the Egyptian government (Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, Aviation, Health… etc) in collaboration with private sector (Egyptian Tourism Federation) are sufficient and proven success since the opening of international tourism on 1st of July’20; the challenge is the confidence of people to travel again in general while keeping commitment of following the right procedures along the way and also for other governments to allow their nationals to move and travel, especially with numbers in some countries are increasing again or not being steady on the positive side at best.
Which, among the actions taken, do you think are the most effective to encourage tourists to choose Egypt as a destination for their holidays?
I believe in numbers, they always reflect pure facts; in that since, Egypt has been stabilized with very good daily infection rate between 100-150 a day and also the dramatic decrease in fatality daily rates, which is very low if compared to other countries; as for the costal/touristic areas in the Red Sea, like Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Marsa Alam… etc, there are almost zero infections; the reason of these good rates is the government & people commitment to the right necessary measures to contrast the disease.
After the reopening of your borders, what is the difference between the cultural tour and the beach vacation? Do you think that classic Nile cruises will have to wait a long time for a good recovery?
For both cultural and beach vacation spots in Egypt, we take measures deployment seriously to keep the success we reached so far; we have been working to design these measures weeks before the actual opening of tourism, tested them and had intensive trainings and awareness for all people working in the aviation & tourism sectors; one of the succeeding factors was the gradual opening of touristic spots to make sure building on safe and success tourism.
Once Italy and Schengen area also open their borders to allow tourist travels to Egypt, how would you intend to intervene on the Italian market, which in the pre-covid period had a significant importance in terms of number of presences in the Country, both for cultural tours and for seaside destinations?
We are always in touch with our partners all around the world, to keep them updated of news happening in Egypt; once the gates are opened, we have plans to work with these partners together to activate fam trips, co-marketing activities and many other tools we look forward to implement; the intensity and timing, however, will depend on lots of factors depending on the situation on that time.
This transition time has led to embellish some places, such as the Giza area and the historic center of Cairo, to open new museums and to reorganize many aspects of tourism in the Country. From an archaeological point of view, Egypt has continued to amaze the world with new interesting finds.
What are the news in the archaeological tourism field that you suggest tour operators can offer to customers?
We normally update our partners through our social media platforms or via our business meetings with all archeological discoveries or opening of new museums, in addition, of course, to our developed produces/destinations and hidden gems that we have. Among such rich and diversified varieties that Egypt has, tour operators will always have the chance to design exciting programs according to their customer needs. In all ways, I am sure visiting Egypt is always an unforgettable experience, which always lead for repeated visits.
Do you see a consistent increase in arrivals since the reopening of your borders? From which Countries do the greatest number of tourists come?
Yes, we receive consistent increase in numbers since we opened international tourism; it was slowed down a bit while adding the PCR obligatory measure in September, but we started to see the curve coming up now, not only in terms of number of tourists, but also number of countries allowing their citizens to come to Egypt.
Finally I want to say, we are 100% ready to receive guests from all over the world; as always, they will have a fantastic vacation in Egypt, wherever they want to go, with the highest measures of health and safety that proven success since the opening of international tourism.
We are looking forward to welcome them all back… #experienceegypt
We thank Eng. Youssef for his kind willingness to answer our questions.
We wish the Country to restart the tourist flow towards the hoped goals due to the great effort made to put the well-being and health of tourists who love and wish to return to Egypt first