Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation Taleb Al-Refai said Egypt would return to the forefront of tourism destinations in the region, whether in the long or short run.
He made this statement at the time CAPMAS statistics say tourism has fallen steadily each year since 2010 to reach 9.5 million tourists, as opposed to 11.5 million in 2012.
Refai said: “The tourism sector is very sensitive and is very much affected by the surrounding events, specifically those that have to do with political stability and terrorism. However, its resiliency and ability to bounce back is impressive and this will be true for a country like Egypt, which will return to its former position as a country that is loved by tourists from all over the world, including those from neighbouring Arab countries.”
Refai added: “Egypt is a priority destination for the organisation and is facing challenges that it will be able to overcome to return to the forefront of touristic destinations, both in the region and internationally, and in the short and long run.”
Refai, who is visiting Bahrain, stated that the Arab region has come a long way in the tourism sector and has grown considerably during the last 10 years, from 20 million tourists to 55 million of the 1 billion global tourists.
He added: “Tourism can play an important role in the life of individuals, from leisure to cultural exchange and removing barriers between people. It teaches the world about our customs and traditions and how we think. It is not farfetched to consider tourism a tool for economic development and it is not solely for leisure but also for creating jobs.”
Translated from AlBorsa newspaper