Cultural tourism globally is witnessing a decline, however, in Egypt, this type of tourism is thriving due to ongoing archaeological discoveries, the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat told Daily News Egypt on Friday.
Al-Mashat added that new discoveries reflect the genius of the Pharaohs, ensuring that
sustainable tourism is not just about places, but is also about the people and communities living in those locations.
In that context, she talked also about the People to People (P2P) campaign that was launched by the ministry of tourism, stating that this campaign portrays Egypt, not only as a prime touristic destination, but also sheds the light on the diversity of the Egyptian people by showcasing Egyptians who master various disciplines to include art, sports, music, and culinary activities.
“The P2P intends to shift tourists’ perceptions on the one hand, and encourage community engagement on the other hand,” Al-Mashat explained, adding, “My ultimate objective as the minister of tourism is to eventually have at least one individual from each Egyptian household working either directly or indirectly in the tourism sector, “
Her remarks came during her visit to Luxor whilst celebrating the World Heritage Day, which is an international day for monuments and sites celebrated each year on 18 April since it was approved by the UNESCO in 1983.
On Thursday, Egypt started the World Heritage Day activities by announcing a newly discovered massive 3,500-year-old tomb with 18 entrance gates at the necropolis on the west riverbank in Luxor.
Celebrating the World Heritage Day, the ministry of antiquities unveiled a 60-tonne, 12-metre-tall statue of the ancient Egyptian King Ramses II after its restoration and re-erection, standing next to five other statues at the Luxor Temple pylon on the east riverbank.
Later on Friday, the Egyptian Ministries of Antiquities and Tourism inaugurated the Opet Temple for the first time for visitors on Friday, after its recent restoration at the Karnak Temple Complex on the Nile river’s east bank in monument-rich province of Luxor in Upper Egypt.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anany, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, several parliamentarians, celebrities, public figures, and 21 ambassadors.
In that context, Al-Mashat expressed her happiness about the cooperation between the ministries of tourism and antiquities, assuring that tourism and archaeology are two sides of the same coin, and praised the efforts made in the field of archaeological discoveries.
She mentioned that this form of file management between the two ministries is important for cultural tourism, as at the end the goal of the two ministries is to increase and enrich cultural tourism in Egypt.
Al-Mashat determined that the presence of the prime minister in the celebration is the best evidence for the government’s support of the tourism and antiques sector in Egypt.
Furthermore, she confirmed that the tourism structural reform programme is at the ministry’s top priorities , and that currently the ministry is cooperating with all the ministries in order to implement all the different axes of the tourism structural reform programme.
In addition, the ministry of tourism in January set a programme for structural reform, aiming to achieve sustainable development, in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals.
She highlighted that United Nations World Tourism Organization praised Egypt’s structural reform programme, and considered it as a model that could be implemented in other countries.
Moreover, Al-Mashat also mentioned that for the first time Egypt won the World Travel Tourism Council Global Champion award at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, Spain, for its significant leadership role in promoting tourism resilience.