Egypt s pavilion during the 28th Moscow International Travel Tourism Exhibition (MITT) on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)
El-Najari's visit was meant to boost Egypt’s cooperation with Russia in the field of tourism, read a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The MITT is the largest B2B travel and tourism trade show in Russia, receiving thousands of travel industry professionals from around the world.
Egypt’s pavilion, administered by the Tourism Development Authority, held a number of meetings with representatives of Russian travel and tourism agencies to discuss means to enhance cooperation between Egypt and Russia in the field of tourism, the statement added.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, two Russian airlines – Aeroflot and Ural Airlines – have recently suspended flights to and from Egypt and several other countries due to the “circumstances that prevent the performance of flights."
Egyptian Cabinet Spokesperson Nader Saad said that the decisions to suspend flights to Egypt from Russia and Ukraine due to the war were a “big hit” to the Egyptian tourism sector. Both countries are main exporters of tourists to Egypt.
Saad added that the Egyptian government was looking for alternatives to compensate for this loss.
On Thursday, the Egyptian ambassador reviewed with officials from the Tourism Development Authority opportunities to boost Russian tourism to Egypt.
Egypt was one of the three most popular destinations for Russian tourists before the crash of a Russian airliner over Sinai in 2015, with some 3.3 million Russians visiting Red Sea resorts in 2014.
In 2018, Russia resumed flights to Cairo after a three-year suspension while in July 2021 it lifted a flight ban on the popular Red Sea tourist cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.
According to Russian Ambassador to Egypt Georgy Borisenko, about 125,000 Russian tourists visited Egypt during the first two weeks of 2022. Some 700,000 Russian tourists visited Egypt in 2021.