By Jamie du Plessis / Tourism News Africa
During a press conference in April, Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, expressed the nation’s need to generate growth and more foreign currency. Al Jazeera reported on Egypt’s directive to protect its economy through offered monetary support from Gulf allies and a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the progress of financial reforms is being reviewed.
Egypt’s Tourism Industry Aims for Revival
Significant efforts have been made to revive the tourism industry following economic concerns and the unrest in the Horn of Africa. Egypt’s tourism industry is one of the largest and most important sectors of the country’s economy. It brings millions of tourists who visit annually to explore the nation’s rich history, culture, and natural attractions.
The Ministry of Tourism has been aligning with these expectations to enhance the sector’s outlook and the experience visitors can expect when visiting.
Investment and Revenue Growth
In light of recent developments, investments have played a critical role in discussions. Hossam Hazzaa, a tourism expert, underscored this by saying, “In order to further develop tourism, I think that the country needs to facilitate loans for companies and hotels, which in turn will help boost revenues.”
Egypt aims to attract up to 30 million tourists by 2028, and reports by Fitch Solutions have projected a growth of 11.6 million tourists in 2023. This is alongside a tourism revenue increase expected to hit $13.6 billion. According to the Central Bank of Egypt, the country has already started seeing positive tourism revenue growth in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022/2023 at $4.1 billion.
Egypt’s National Growth and Development Strategy
Egypt’s tourism promotional strategies were amplified in 2022 using an American company, McCann. One of these promotional campaigns targeted foreign markets in the English Premier League, which ended in November. Following the success of previous agendas, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, announced a new national strategy in March.
Government objectives investigated security and technological advancement in tourism alongside various tourism development initiatives, which include:
● Ongoing tourism and facility development
● Joint cooperation between private airlines and the government
● Improving the investment climate through the private sector
● Visa facilitations
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities stated, “The strategy aims to achieve annual growth rates ranging from 25 to 30%, based on the level of 3,000 institutions in five different chambers of tourism in Egypt, led by a strong private sector through the Egyptian Tourism Federation.”
Egypt Introduces New Visa Facilities
One of the latest developments enacted in Egypt’s tourism sector is the introduction of new tourism visa facilities aimed at simplifying the visa process for visitors.
According to a recent Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announcement, the new facilities include:
- Emergency entry visa applications
- Visas on arrival
Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa also announced the impending introduction of a new $700 multi-entry visa with a 5-year validity period. These advancements are expected to significantly reduce the waiting times and bureaucracy of obtaining a visa for specific countries.
The importance of these new facilities for Egypt’s tourism industry cannot be overstated. By streamlining the visa process, Egypt can attract more tourists and enhance its reputation as a welcoming and tourist-friendly destination. With the global tourism industry becoming increasingly competitive, countries that offer hassle-free visa processes have a clear advantage in attracting more visitors.