Positive feedback continued pouring in, on the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) program regarding tourism which was presented by Dr. Tarek Wafik, general supervisor of the FJP Tourism Committee, during ‘The Future of Tourism in Egypt’ conference which was organized under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, attended by representatives from international tourism agencies and experts.
The party’s program is focused on encouraging private sector and foreign investment in tourism, promoting and marketing tourism products and services in the Arab region and worldwide, in addition to stimulating domestic tourism.
According to Tarek Shalabi, Vice Chairman of Marsa Alam Investment & Tourism Association (MAITA), the FJP’s program astounded all attendees. Shalabi asserted that the FJP’s message was very clear and transparent, and genuinely prioritized tourism investment, placing right at the top of its agenda, for the near future, by promoting all types of tourism in Egypt without exception.
Shalabi stressed that the party’s reassuring message won the interest of all attendees, especially foreign companies and international media outlets. The foreign press showed much interest, widely publishing the FJP program. Shalabi explained that the FJP’s clear vision allayed all former fears of foreign tour organizers regarding Egypt and its future in the tourism industry, who promised to relay this reassuring message abroad.
Further, Shalabi highlighted the importance of all other political parties and state institutions joining hands with the FJP in order to guarantee the success of its program. He expressed hope that Egypt’s economy will be revived and public debt paid off within 6 months only, once tourism has recovered.
Shalabi expressed pleasure at the success of the conference, with foreign media casting Egypt in a positive light. He added that most tourism companies discussed the future of the industry with MAITA, hoping to revive it soon.
Amr Abdul-Ghaffar, tourism expert and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Middle East regional president, also commended the FJP program and invited the party’s representatives to attend the 2nd UNWTO International Conference on Tourism and the Media in Marsa Alam, Egypt, 26-27 April 2012, as well as the Arabian Travel Market 2012 in Dubai in May. He pointed that the party’s program can put Egyptian tourism at the forefront of global tourism, which – he added – goes to show that the FJP is quite capable of shouldering the responsibility of promoting and rejuvenating the entire Egyptian tourism industry.
Abdul-Ghaffar stressed that the future of Egyptian tourism represents a major element in Egypt’s economy, especially in the country’s critical current phase. He explained that due to the latest events in Egypt, the country’s economy has lost about a third of its tourism income. Nevertheless, Abdul-Ghaffar spoke of positive signs for a fresh flow of tourists visiting Egypt shortly.
For his part, Hazem Shawky, FJP’s Tourism Committee rapporteur, stated that positive responses place on the party the burden of responsibility for delivering on their promises; adding that most political parties, including the Free Egyptians Party and the Wassat party, have offered their support and ideas to help revitalize Egypt’s tourism industry.
Hazem Shawky added that the FJP seeks an immediate start to the implementation of the program, with plans to begin activating and energizing domestic tourism in summer 2012, with the cooperation of the People’s Assembly (PA) Culture, Information and Tourism Committee.
On a further note, Mohamed El-Sawy, Chairman of the PA’s Culture, Information and Tourism Committee, confirmed that the PA is preparing a ‘Tourism Document’ in all living languages of the world, announcing the Egyptian people’s stance on tourism, and their commitment to respecting visitors of all faiths, and protecting human rights. He called on all ministries and the government to support the tourism industry.
One of the delightful outcomes of the conference was the promise by leading tourism companies such as Thomas Cook and Tui Travel to put Egypt back in their tourist itineraries as soon as possible, praising the FJP’s program and expressing hope that it would improve Egyptian Tourism in a record time, if the country implemented the FJP program, which shows respect and appreciation for foreign tourists and promotes all types of tourism in Egypt.