Sunday, September 14, 2014

News, Cairo: Corporate Travel Market aims to jump-start tourism sector

Today, Cairo hosting the Corporate Travel Market (CTM) at the Cairo International Convention Center with the goal of promoting Egypt’s image as a top tourist destination from Sept. 14-15.

“The event is the first of its kind in Egypt in terms of number of participants and the quality and pricing of the travel packages involved,” CTM’s co-founder Mostafa Sultan told The Cairo Post Friday.

The CTM which is a business-to-business exhibition aims to provide corporate travel buyers and worldwide exhibitors to meet and discuss the latest travel trends and conduct deals, Mostafa said.

According to the Central Bank of Egypt, tourism is ranked second in terms of sources of income for Egypt after remittances from Egyptians abroad, and is followed by income from the Suez Canal. A “wide spectrum” of domestic and international travel and tourism entities including, leading travel agencies, hotel chains, Nile cruises, Red Sea resorts, airline carriers and transportation companies are represented in the two-day event, he added.

The losses in the tourism sector since the January 25 Revolution are estimated at $6.8 billion in the past three years and tourism revenues fell to only $5.9 billion in 2013, down 41 percent from 2012, according to the Tourism Ministry’s report issued in March.

“Egypt, with its unique tourism attraction elements, is one of the most promising travel destinations and a leading travel markets in the whole world,” Mostafa said, adding that he is “optimistic” and confident that tourism will pick up again gradually. According to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation’s report in 2010, tourism accounts for 13% of Egypt’s GDP, employs one in every seven Egyptians or 12% of the labor force and offers 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs.

According to the National Accounts Division of the Ministry of Tourism, Income from tourism in Egypt for the first quarter of 2014 decreased to $1.3 billion, down 43% from the same period last year. Italy, Germany, Belgium and Japan are among other countries that have lifted the travel ban to Sharm el-Sheikh resort city.

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