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ATF24Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh forum boosts Intra-African tourism

SHARM EL SHEIKH, May 22, 2024

The African Tourism Forum (ATF24Egypt), which kicked off on May 21 in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh, aims to enhance cooperation in the tourism sector among African countries, attract foreign investments, and create new job opportunities for African youth.

Organised by the global Rixos Group and the Turkish GMT Exhibition and Conference Organizing Company, the first-of-its-kind forum brought together numerous ministers, senior officials, and investors from the tourism sector in Egypt and other African countries.

Also in attendance were African ambassadors, Egyptian and African businessmen, and more than 2,000 international tourism professionals from 35 countries.

In his address, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, emphasised the importance of establishing and coordinating unified policies to maximise shared interests and enhance intra-African tourism.

He said that the forum serves as a professional gathering and an effective participatory platform to highlight the distinctive and unique tourism potential and products of the ancient African continent.

It provides an opportunity to promote joint tourism cooperation among African countries and encourages experts, professionals, and investors in the tourism sector to collaborate in developing the tourism industry in Africa and enhancing its role in the global tourism sector.

Minister Issa pointed out that this forum and exhibition come at a time when our African continent is experiencing significant success in restoring inbound tourism levels, having regained 96% of its 2019 levels, according to the World Tourism Organization report.

In light of the National Tourism Development Strategy, Egypt set a record for incoming tourist numbers in 2023, with 14.906 million visitors, surpassing the previous peak of 14.731 million tourists in 2010.

Major General Khaled Fouda, Governor of South Sinai, emphasised the importance of this significant forum due to the vital role tourism plays in the economies of African and global nations, especially amid regional and international challenges.

He highlighted the necessity of cooperation among tourism and investment sectors, as evidenced by the participation of over 2,000 attendees worldwide, including many African ambassadors, tourism experts, and travel agencies from more than 30 countries.

Fouda stated that African countries possess immense potential to become top global tourism destinations.

Dr Yousry El-Sharkawy, President of the Egyptian African Businessmen Association, remarked that this event is a historic opportunity to strengthen cooperation between African countries in tourism and attract foreign investments.

Fettah Tamince, founder of Rixos, highlighted the significance of the African Tourism Forum in developing the tourism sector in Africa and achieving sustainable development.

He recommended Egypt as a tourist destination due to its extensive tourist attractions, favorable year-round climate, and valuable human resources, suggesting that Egypt could attract 60 million tourists annually.

The first session of the African Tourism Forum, titled "How to Create a Luxury Brand," featured speakers such as Gaurav Bhushan, Co-CEO of Ennismore and CEO of Lifestyle & Leisure Brands at Accor Hotels, and Fettah Tamince, founder of Rixos Hotels.

The African Tourism Forum features various events and discussions on topics such as sustainable, cultural, and digital tourism, tourism investment, marketing, and human resource development in the tourism sector.

Workshops cover subjects like starting a successful tourism project, using social media for marketing, creating engaging content, and providing excellent customer service.

The accompanying exhibition showcases tourism companies, hotels, and tourist destinations from across Africa. – TradeArabia News Service

 




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