While participating in the 110th session of the executive board of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Egypt's Minister of Tourism Dr. Rania Al-Mashat attended a press conference organised by the Egyptian embassy in the presence of Egypt’s ambassador to Azerbaijan Adel Ibrahim to officially announce the reoperation of Azerbaijan National Airlines (AZAL) charter flights from Baku to Cairo and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh starting 8 and 18 July respectively.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of her visit in developing Egypt’s tourism industry and enhancing cooperation between her ministry and international bodies and institutions, including the UNWTO, which plays a major role in serving the world tourism sector and enhancing tourism cooperation between member countries.
During the press conference, Al-Mashat stressed the depth of Egyptian-Azerbaijani relations, with cultural values, customs and traditions that bind both countries.
Al-Mashat praised the resumption of flights from Baku to Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh, pointing out that these flights will contribute to enhancing the tourism flow from Azerbaijan to Egyptian touristic cities.
She also reviewed aspects of the structural reform programme to develop the Egyptian tourism sector launched last November and the steps taken by the ministry to implement it, pointing out that the programme is strongly supported by the Egyptian political leadership and government.
Al-Mashat said the tourism promotional plan revolves around exploring new and promising markets, like Azerbaijan, Central Asia, South and Latin America and Central Europe.
Al-Mashat underlined the Egyptian government's keenness to invest in security, which prompted the World Travel and Tourism Council to grant Egypt a Global Champion Award to for its efforts to promote tourism in April 2019.
During the press conference, an official of Self Travel, the Kazakh company that will operate the flight line between Egypt and Baku, presented a flight show, Baku-Sharm, confirming that the flight between Sharm El-Sheikh and Baku is regular and not a charter flight.
The company official said that 75 percent of trips to Egypt have already been sold following the decision to resume flights.
According to a statement by the tourism ministry, Al-Mashat will participate as a keynote speaker in a panel discussion entitled "Protecting Our Heritage: Social, Cultural and Environmental Sustainability," which aims to explore ways to promote the tourism industry and achieve sustainable development goals, as well as discuss the role of the UNWTO, governments and the private sector in this field.