Egypt to develop comprehensive tourism reform program: minister

Egypt’s Tourism Minister Rania al-Mashat said Friday that the government is adopting a comprehensive reform program that places tourism as one of the main pillars of the economy as it is an important source of foreign currency, while also creating new job opportunities and promoting a host of other tourism-related industries.

Mashat met on Friday with ambassadors of several foreign countries to discuss enhancing cooperation in the field of tourism and ways to attract more tourists from these countries.

The Minister stressed the importance of cooperation and exchange of experiences with countries that have achieved tangible success in the field of tourism and expressed her keenness to identify their views and suggestions to increase tourism flows from their countries.

The ambassadors and foreign officials expressed their desire for more cooperation with Egypt and for holding further meetings with the minister to discuss ways of furthering cooperation in the field of tourism.

The tourism sector used to be one of the three main sources supporting the Egyptian economy with foreign currency, along with Suez Canal and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.

The tourism sector has been struggling since the downing of a Russian passenger jet in October 2015 with revenues from tourism dropping by almost 40 percent.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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