Prime Minister Hesham Qandil has decided to form a ministerial committee to develop a strategy to invigorate the country’s local and foreign tourism activity.
The committee comprises the ministries of tourism, antiquities, planning and endowments.
Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali said he had proposed the idea of the committee to Qandil in a bid to save the tourism sector from recession.
“We should not blame tourism problems on specific bodies such as the Tourism Ministry or tourist institutions; it is a national responsibility which we should all bear. That can be achieved by cooperation between all segments of society to implement a comprehensive tourism strategy that would help set the atmosphere for tourist activity,” Ali said.
The committee would convene monthly, the minister added.
The Tourism Ministry said that tourism declined by 33 percent during 2011, down from 2010. The government says that the state of uncertainty that has prevailed following the 25 January revolution, as well as periodic outbreaks of violence over the past year, have discouraged tourists from visiting the country.
Tourism is a crucial source of much-needed foreign currency for Egypt, and analysts say the country’s most pressing problem is the slide in foreign reserves as tourism and export earnings suffer because of the unrest and capital flees the country.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm