Egypt Hopes to Expand Tourism With Iran and Beyond

Egypt Hopes to Expand  Tourism With Iran and Beyond Egypt Hopes to Expand  Tourism With Iran and Beyond

There are no restrictions on Iranian tourists visiting Egypt.  Iranians can travel to Egypt in accordance to the rules of travel signed between the countries, via their respective tour companies, announced the head of the interests section of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Iran, Khaled Emara.

Speaking with the Egyptian newspaper, Alyoum-o Sabe’, he said Iran is a significant country in the region and its position cannot be ignored.

Although political ties between the two countries have seen many twists and turns, Iran and Egypt have managed to develop an economic relationship in recent years, he asserted.

The official pointed to $500 million worth of transactions between the two countries and noted the figure would rise considerably should international sanctions on Iran be lifted.

The statement was made in context of a larger program by the Egyptian government to expand tourism after the unrest, revolution, and political instability of recent years that was detrimental to the Mediterranean country’s tourism industry.

Egypt ended last year back in the black and solvent, and hopes once again to become one of the most visited destinations in the world by the end of this year.

“If we continue on the path we have started we will return to normality in the sector by the end of the year,” declared the chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, Samy Mahmoud, at a press conference, reported eTN Global Travel Industry News.

According to Mahmoud, there was a 4.4 % increase in tourist arrivals, which means that nearly 10 million people visited the country last year. In Egypt where tourism accounts for 11.3 % of gross domestic product, restoring tourist confidence is crucial after the decline experienced by the sector following the 2011 revolution that ended with the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime.

The official stressed that Egypt is a safe country where tourists can have a good time. “The Egyptian government cares about each tourist visiting the country,” he stated. “Currently we have high security systems with cameras and police officers who control all the tourist areas, so there is no need to worry,” he explained.

Although he acknowledged that they are facing “some problems” in Cairo, terrorist attacks in France have shown that nowhere in the world is absolutely safe. Cairo airport reinforced its security measures after finding two explosive devices in airport terminals last week. No one was arrested.

“There is great improvement in the situation at the borders. We have security challenges, we have economic challenges but we have the will of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian leadership in moving forward,” he explained.

“The situation is much better than it appears,” he noted, and to prove it, although he admitted they are still working towards the recovery of cultural tourism, today hotels in the coastal areas – Egypt’s sun and beach tourism – are reporting 80% occupancy.

Mahmoud said five direct flights from China will start operating under an agreement that will result in 700,000 more visits annually for Egypt’s tourism recovery.

This agreement is in addition to the one signed with Spanish operators who, as of March 21 this year, will resume direct flights from Madrid to Aswan, as well as the Nile cruises.