The cover of Time Magazine s Travel issue 2023 by Egyptian Photographer Jonathan Rashad. Photo : Time Magazine
The Travel Issue, which was released online on Thursday and will be available in print on 26 March, featured the Pyramids of Giza on its cover among the world's most exciting and sought-after destinations for 2023,
The magazine highlighted the start of the special operations trial period of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is set to be officially inaugurated later this year.
According to the magazine, the 5.2-million-square-foot GEM, located on the outskirts of Cairo with a view of the Pyramids of Giza a mile away, houses 100,000 artefacts, many of which were moved from the century-old Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.
Some of the artefacts have never been seen by the public.
Time also highlighted that the new Sphinx International Airport, which restared operations recently after expansion work, is only 40 minutes away from the GEM.
The magazine recommended visiting the Saqqara area and its active excavation sites.
It also recommended visiting the Djoser Pyramid, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history, which was re-opened to visitors in 2020 after renovations.
The Time cover photo featuring the Giza Pyramids was taken by renowned Egyptian photojournalist Jonathan Rashad and is available for prints on the magazine's website.
In early March, the GEM started offering a limited number of guided tours in certain areas of the museum, including access to the gardens, commercial area, official gift shop, the Hanging Obelisk, the Atrium, and the Glass Hall.
Since November 2022, the GEM has hosted carefully selected private events and organized a limited number of private tours to ensure the readiness of the services provided and to test the full visitor experience.
Visitors can plan their tour and make reservations through the GEM’s website.
Egypt received 11.7 million tourists in 2022, up from eight million in 2021, marking a 46.2 percent increase, according to statements by Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa on Wednesday.
The number of visitors to Egypt is expected to increase by 28 percent this year to 15 million, Issa added in a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
Egypt’s tourism sector was dealt a hard blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenue dropping from $13.03 billion in 2019 to $4.1 billion in 2020. However, the sector has begun since mid-2021 to flourish as Egypt secured $10.7 billion in tourism revenue in FY 2021/2022, up from $4.9 billion in FY 2020/2021, according to the Central Bank of Egypt in October.
Egypt received 13.1 million tourists in 2019, 3.7 million in 2020, and eight million in 2021.
The country, which has 1,200 tourist hotels, hopes to double tourist numbers to 25-30 million by 2028.