Egyptian embassy in Beijing celebrates 20 years of EgyptAir direct flights to China

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Jan 2024

The Egyptian Embassy in Beijing held a celebration at the embassy's premises to mark the 20th anniversary of EgyptAir's inaugural flights to China.

Chinese tourists visit the Giza Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, Oct. 4, 2023. Photo: Xinhua


The celebration, which constitutes part of Egypt's efforts to promote tourism between China and Egypt, was attended by prominent Chinese officials, major Chinese tourism companies, and representatives from Chinese media. 

During the event, Egypt’s ambassador in Beijing, Assem Hanafi, delivered a speech highlighting the historical ties between Egypt and China. 

Hanafi emphasized the increase in direct flights between the two countries, noting that Egypt currently has direct air connections to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu, making China the largest destination for EgyptAir in Asia. 

He added that Egypt has become a significant tourist destination for Chinese travellers, highlighting that the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism aims to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Egypt annually to 3 million by 2028. 

Hanafi concluded his speech by expressing Egypt’s appreciation for China's friendship and encouraged Chinese friends to visit Egypt during the upcoming Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

Toward the end of the celebration, the Egyptian ambassador presented commemorative gifts to the top 21 Chinese tourism companies operating in the Egyptian market.

Egypt and China have a long history of diplomatic relations, dating back to the 1950s. Egypt was the first Arab and African nation to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1956.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese tourism market exported more than 150 million tourists annually who spent an average of $250 billion, according to the World Tourism Organization.

Meanwhile, Egypt has launched a series of initiatives to boost tourism, which constitutes a crucial provider of foreign currency.

Egypt seeks to attract 3 million Chinese tourists annually by 2028 as part of an ambitious strategy to increase its share in the Chinese tourism market, Xinhua news agency cited Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa as saying in November.

The minister said at the time that Egypt currently receives between 4,000 and 5,000 Chinese tourists per week.

Furthermore, Egypt aims to attract 30 million tourists annually by 2028, thus doubling the current projected figure of 15 million.

In FY2022/23, Egypt's tourism revenues hit a record high of $13.6 billion, up 26.8 percent from $10.7 billion in FY2021/2022, according to data released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

During the first half of 2023, Egypt attracted 7 million tourists and, in October alone, hosted 1.3 million visitors from 80 countries—an 8 percent increase from October 2022.

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