Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Min. of Tourism, USAID Organize 'Rewarding Investments in Facility Management in Cultural Heritage Sites’ Tourism Forum

Wed 29 Nov 2023 | 03:21 PM
Ali Abo Deshish - Ahmed Emam

Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is collaborating with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism Project (IMCT) to organize the "Rewarding Investments in Facility Management in Cultural Heritage Sites" tourism forum in Cairo.

The opening session of the forum was held in the presence of Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities; Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation; Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development; Khaled Abdel-Al, Governor of Cairo, and representatives of various diplomatic missions in Egypt, including Germany and China.

The forum also featured appearances by Mr. Sean Jones, Director of the Mission of the United States Agency for International Development in Egypt (USAID), and Mr. Olivier Messmer, Director of the Integrated Tourism Management Project, Cultural IMCT.

In his address, Issa said that the forum is for investing in services in archaeological and heritage areas, and rehabilitating and exploiting some areas to provide investment opportunities.

The minster explained that the Ministry's strategy is to create a unique experience for tourists interested in cultural heritage while promoting private sector investment in the tourism industry.

The Egyptian official also noted that the Supreme Council of Antiquities has around 2,000 archaeological sites throughout Egypt, with only 130 open for visitation, and 40 museums, with only 30 open for visitation. This indicates a vast scope for cooperation with the private sector in managing and operating services in several sites and museums.

"The Ministry has many partnerships with private entities to provide services in key archaeological sites such as the Pyramids, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NEMC), the Citadel, Muhammad Ali Palace in Shubra, Baron Palace, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, and other significant archaeological locations."

Issa further mentioned that his Ministry has successfully partnered with countries and international bodies to restore and preserve antiquities under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Some of these projects include the restoration of Al-Zahir Baybars Mosque, which received funding from the State of Kazakhstan, and the Al-Tanbugha Al-Mardani Mosque in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar, which was funded by the European Union and implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation in Egypt.

The forum aims to highlight another successful model of partnership and fruitful cooperation with parties interested in antiquities and cultural heritage, which is the Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism (IMCT) project. The project is funded by USAID, with approximately $13 million, and is implemented by a group of local and international companies under the supervision of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).