Mashat to CNN: Safety Tops Tourism Sector’s Priorities

Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat said that the tremendous efforts exerted by the security forces highly contributed to re-attracting tourists and tour operations to Egypt’s tourist destinations like Sharm El Sheikh.

In an interview with CNN’s Business Emerging Markets Editor John Defterios on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), held in Dubai, Mashat said: “First priority to the government was to ensure that everyone is secure and safe.”

“A lot of money has been spent on the infrastructure related to security. Moreover, the private sector plays a key role in promoting tourism,” the minister noted.

Mashat's Interview with CNN
Mashat’s Interview with CNN

Regarding the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), she pointed out that the GEM would be opened in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding that it is a clear testimony that Egypt has more heritage and antiquities to show to the world.

“In the era where the cultural tourism is on a decline, we believe that GEM is set to revive cultural tourism not just in Egypt but the whole world. This is the only museum which has Tutankhamun collection.

Mashat also stressed the importance of engaging local youth, start-ups, technology, and digitalization in growing tourism in Egypt.

“Tourism in Egypt represents 15% of its GDP,” according to Mashat.

“The number of tourists in 2018 reached 11.3 million tourists compared to 5.4 million in 2016. The number of visitors in 2010 was 14.7 million,” according to the CNN.

Meeting with Well-Famed Influencers

In the same context, Mashat said, her meeting with two of the most famous influencers in the Gulf region,: “The ministry’s strategy depends on modernizing tools of tourism promotion and using new technology and digital platforms to show Egypt in a modern image.”

She pointed out that more than 40 percent of the tourists worldwide, who are below 33, use Instagram when choosing their next holiday spot.

The meeting touched on ways of using these influencers in the coming period in light of the ministry’s plan for promoting tourism in Egypt in the Arab market and keeping up with changes worldwide.

Rania Al Mashat at Egypt's Pavilion at ATM
Rania Al Mashat at Egypt’s Pavilion at ATM

The minister stressed the importance of social media platforms’ impact in making travel decisions, especially for the youth.

The ministry is interested in inviting the well-famed bloggers and influencers to Egypt to spread their experience to their followers on their accounts.

It is worth mentioning that tourism in Egypt was hit by instability after 2011 Arab Spring and the Russian plane crash in 2015.

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