Cairo – MENA Herald: At a conference held today in Cairo, attended by 200 senior tourism sector representatives from 25 countries as well as several Ambassadors to Egypt from several important tourism markets, H.E Hisham Zaazou, Minister for Tourism, announced “the Cairo Tourism Declaration” which sets out the four main themes that will be the focus of work and resources during the rest of 2016, and beyond, in order to grow the tourism sector sustainably in Egypt:

SECURITY: Ensuring safety and security for everyone travelling within the country, using our airports, visiting our historic sites or enjoying our resorts is a top priority for the Egyptian Government

CULTURAL TOURISM: The role that Egypt’s historic sites and antiquities plays in attracting tourists is a key factor that will receive enhanced focus around the world, especially with the tantalising possibility of a discovery of something behind Tutankhamun’s tomb

RESORTS: The recent establishment of the Cabinet Committee chaired by H.E. Sherif Ismail Prime Minister of Egypt, demonstrates the commitment to progress Egypt’s tourism sector. Its sub-committee, coordinated by Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, also includes 8 representatives from the private sector. These committees will work very closely with the tourism sector in the country to ensure impactful policy delivery in order to both support and enhance the resorts and hotels and provide an even better experience for visitors

TELLING OUR STORY TO THE WORLD: impactful international promotion campaigns to tell the world about: The stunning, colossal monuments of Ancient Egypt. The heat, sight and the light of the desert. The turquoise waters. And that no place on earth has the magic and mystery of Egypt.

Minister Zaazou made a commitment to hold this event on an annual basis, bringing together the key leaders and influencers within global tourism which will include a review on progress on the Declaration and all the actions we committed to. The Minister also announced that in order to maximise the use of international expertise he was immediately establishing an international advisory group, including some of the leading organisations represented today, to work with the Ministry to find ways to boost international tourism to Egypt.

The Declaration follows recent research conducted by US polling firm Penn Schoen Berland for the Ministry of Tourism (see Notes for Editors) in seven countries from which Egypt draws large numbers of visitors: 61% of tourists stated Egypt is “a place I want to visit in my lifetime” and 53% defined it as a destination that will be a “must visit” or “next big thing” in the near future. This provides a huge potential number of tourists to Egypt given, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, there were 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals globally in 2015.

Minister Zaazou said: “Our market research demonstrates that there is huge interest for tourists to visit Egypt. We need to maximise that potential. This is why the Cairo Tourism Declaration is so significant.

This Declaration reinforces our commitment to ensure Egypt reclaims its rightful position as one of the most sought after places to visit in the world.

This year has the potential to be an extraordinary year for Egyptian tourism if we find out that there is something behind Tutankhamun’s tomb. We will know in a few months’ time. The world – and Egypt – is waiting with building anticipation.”