Beijing keen to boost cooperation with Egypt in tourism, says Chinese minister in Cairo visit

Habiba Hamdy , Sunday 2 Apr 2023

China's Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping expressed Beijing keenness to enhance cooperation with Egypt in tourism and other fields, as he started an official visit to Cairo, his first outside the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa (right) in meeting with Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Hu Heping in Cairo on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet)


In a meeting on Sunday with Egypt's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, Heping, who is heading an official delegation, stressed the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries.

From his side, Issa emphasized to Heping that China represents one of the most promising markets for tourism to Egypt.

In January, Egypt received its first batch of Chinese tourists after Beijing eased COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Last week, Egypt eased visa requirements for Chinese nationals, allowing them to obtain an entry visa upon arrival.

A Chinese delegation, comprising 22 tourism organisers as well as members of the China Tourism Association, are currently in Egypt to boost cooperation between the two countries.

The Egyptian economy relies on the tourism sector as a key source for hard currency.

The country's tourism sector was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of visitors dropping from 13.1 million in 2019 to 3.7 million in 2020.

However, the tourism sector began to recover in the last two years - with the number of tourists climbing up to 8 million in 2021 and, again, to 11.7 million in 2022.

The government has said it expects 15 million tourists to visit Egypt in 2023 and plans are in the work to expand hotel capacity to receive 25–30 million by 2028.

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