The first Deputy of the Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou, opened the Arab tourism forum held over three days this month in Dubai. In the forum, he added , Egypt participated with a 200 square meter suite including eight tour companies and nine hotels as well as more that 69 states represented by more than 2100 participants.
Zazou mentioned that tourism in Egypt is deemed one of the main pivots of national economy as it brought in the hard currency referring that tourism income was estimated at $ 11 billion in 2008
Moreover, tourism is one of the most important sectors that create job opportunities as each million tourists provide two hundred thousand new jobs, Zazou added.
Although tourism sector witnessed a 13.4% fall during the first three months of this year , this matter is not considered disastrous compared to the other tourist places according to Hisham Zazou who also confirmed that the numbers achieved so far in 2009 are almost similar to those realized in 2007 which was than considered a good year of tourism coming to Egypt.
He further stated that the markets remarkably affected are Eastern Europe states such as Russia due to the ebbing in the Russian currency value, thus many people abstain from travelling abroad.
However , there are some markets which still maintain its rates such as the English market because the English tourist considers Egypt a more distinctive destination than its European counterparts thanks to the Egyptian warm weather and the shining sun along with the cultural tourism that attracts European tourists in general and the English tourists in particular , told Zazou .
The first Deputy of the Minister of Tourism also stated that it is expected that the Egyptian tourism fall is expected to continue until it recovers 2010 , asserting that Tourism Ministry has already prepared an eventful agenda for that summer which is intended to attract more Arab tourists.
Meanwhile, Zazou ruled out the idea of price lowering citing that tourists enjoy special services in Egypt as well as the added value they get during their stay.
He referred to the ceaseless Egyptian efforts to mitigate the passive effects of the global financial crisis and that the Egyptian sector of tourism deems this time appropriate to avoid all the negative consequences.
There are many training programs made to upgrade the levels of tourism sector employees in different specializations, Zazou concluded.