The World Tourism Organisation's (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said the organisation is willing to cooperate with Egypt to ensure the optimal benefit from Egypt’s tourist destinations.
The organisation wants to benefit from the Egyptian model to develop tourism through comprehensive institutional reform, the chief of the UN body told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a meeting in Cairo on Monday.
Pololikashvili, chief of the UNWTO, the United Nations agency responsible for promoting tourism, has affirmed the organisation's willingness to foster cooperation with Egypt and to help ensure the optimal use of Egypt’s tourist attractions, the Egyptian presidency stated.
Egypt has resumed international flights on 1 July after three months of suspension due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, adopting a host of strict preventive measures.
Pololikashvili hailed Egypt's efforts to gradually restore foreign tourism.
He highlighted Egypt’s "unprecedented support" of the tourism sector -- being a vital pillar of the Egyptian economy -- including the facilities and incentives provided for investors to enable them to deal with the pandemic with the least losses possible.
El-Sisi welcomed Pololikashvili's visit, which is his first outside Europe since the spread of the pandemic.
The president reviewed with the Georgian chief the strategy Egypt has adopted to revive tourism in accordance with precautionary measures set by the country’s tourism ministry in coordination with the relevant authorities.
The Egyptian strategy aims at reviving tourism while ensuring the safety of tourists and workers in the sector, El-Sisi noted.
He explained Egypt has taken structural measures to rejuvenate tourism, such as merging the ministries of tourism and antiquities during the latest cabinet reshuffle in late 2019. It also implemented a number of projects in the sector, such as Galala city in the northeastern governorate of Suez, New Alamein city in the northwestern governorate of Matrouh, and the Arts and Culture City in the New Administrative Capital, east Cairo.
The projects also include Giza’s Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Old Cairo’s Fustat, and a “religious” project, named “The Greater Disclosure over the Land of Peace” in the Sinai Peninsula.
The president hailed UNWTO’s continuous support of the tourism sector regionally and internationally and its efforts to revive tourism after it was hard-hit by the spread of the coronavirus.
El-Sisi and Pololikashvili reviewed a number of prominent projects in Egypt, including various tourism attractions in new urban communities, as well as numerous museums and the project to develop historical Cairo, the Egyptian presidency spokesman said, highlighting the role of these projects in promoting Egypt's cultural and historical heritage.
Pololikashvili said he saw some of the mega projects that have been implemented in line with the highest international standards in tourism.
The meeting, which was attended by tourism and antiquities minister Khaled El-Anany, was followed by another with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.