Egypt’s Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat held a meeting on with the head of Saudi Board for Tourism and National Heritage Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib on Sunday, to discuss ways to boost cooperation in tourism between the two countries.
The meeting came on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) forum, which kicked off in Dubai on Sunday and ends on Wednesday.
The 26th edition of the ATM hosts over 2,500 exhibiting companies and an expected 40,000 industry professionals, with over 150 countries represented, as well as 65 national pavilions.
The Egyptian minister accompanied the Saudi official on a tour of the Egyptian pavilion, during which he expressed his admiration at the new technological and promotional methods it highlighted.
Al-Mashat said that Saudi Arabia tops Arab countries in sending tourists to Egypt and stressed the importance of the Arab market for Egyptian tourism, saying it makes up about 30 percent of tourists coming to the country.
She also cited the new adjustments set by the tourism ministry to facilitate the Islamic umrah pilgrimage procedures for Egyptians to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Al-Khatib expressed to his country’s keenness on benefiting from Egyptian expertise in promoting various forms of tourism such as cultural and adventure tourism, which Saudi Arabia has started to promote recently.
The Saudi tourism official also cited the possibility of cooperation to attract more tourists to the Arab region through joint tourism programmes between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in light of the Arab Tourism Strategy, which was commissioned by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism during the 45th meeting of the Middle East Committee of the World Tourism Organization held in Cairo in March.