Daily Archives: August 14, 2016

Egypt Tourism Losses in 2015 And 2016, Worst in 15 Years – Finance Minister

Egypt’s finance minister expects tourism revenues in 2015 and 2016 to reach $4 – $4.5 billion, with losses in its last 10 months being “the worst in 15 years.”

In a press conference recently, Minister of Finance Amr al-Garhy said that tourism revenues in the fiscal year that ended in June would not exceed $5 billion compared to $6.1 billion in 2015.

According to the official statistics agency, Egypt lost over half of its tourists in May compared to the previous year. Approximately 431,800 tourists visited Egypt in May compared to 894,600 in May 2015.
Russian tourism decreased by 61.3 per cent in May, which was likely part of the consequences of the 2015 Russian plane crash that occurred above Egypt’s Sinai.

Last October, a charter flight operated by Russian airline Metrojet broke up midair 23 minutes after takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Airport as it headed to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.

The crash has been suspected to be due to a “terrorist attack,” but Egypt says that evidence is still lacking as to the cause of the crash.

Moscow suspended all flights to Egypt pending an investigation into the crash. The U.K. followed suit, halting all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.

Since the plane crash, Russia among other western countries have sent delegations to inspect security measures in Egyptian airports, which Egyptian officials continued to describe as in line with “international standards.”

In early July, the Russian Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Kirpichenko was reported to have said that Russian tourists would be able to travel to Egypt in “the foreseeable future”.

Moody’s Investors Services also reported last month that tourism revenues fell in the first quarter of 2016 to record its lowest level since 1998.

According to the Moody’s report published on Jul. 6, tourism revenues fell to $551 million in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest since March 1998 and much lower than the third-quarter 2010 peak of $3.6 billion.

In an attempt to promote internal tourism, EgyptAir launched “Your Vacation in Egypt” campaign in July that includes package deals and competitive prices for domestic flights.

Egypt has been scrambling to collect money as it faces a shortage in foreign currency due to pressures on its foreign reserves after years of political turmoil, triggered by the 2011 Uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, halved the country’s foreign reserves and scared away tourists and investors.

Mzembi To Attend Africa Diaspora World Tourism Awards In Atlanta

Walter Mzembi,, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe will be attending the 2016 African Diaspora World Tourism Awards in Atlanta, United States to speak at the event on August 27.
Mzembi was recently endorsed by the African Union as the choice for Africa to become the next Secretary General of the United Natoons World Tourism Organization.

This is an historical visit for the United States and very significant for the ADWT-Awards event.
As Africa’s official candidate, Mzembi believes that his becoming the UNWTO Secretary General will be a win for his country Zimbabwe, as well as for Africa. Viewed by many in the world tourism industry as a unifier, eloquent, astute and visionary leader, it is no wonder that the African Union is rallying behind him. Since the inception of UNWTO in 1975, no African has ever held the position of Secretary General, and if Mzembi wins, he will be the first.

“We are beyond excited to have Mzembi set to attend and address this year’s event,” says Kitty J. Pope, founder/director and executive director of the ADWT-Awards event that also includes a cultural heritage travel expo.

“The Minister’s visit is most important because this year’s award event for the first time will include the “Parade of Flags,” where embassy representatives from various countries of the African Diaspora will carry their perspective flags as a tribute to the United Nations declaration of the Decade for People of African Descent.”

Pope says that Mzembi’s visit also shows support for two other new components of the awards event which are the “Royal African Procession” where African Kings and Queens participate, and the Pan African Travel Forum to be presented by Rev. Eugene Franklin, the founder/chair of the Pan African Cultural Heritage Tourism Initiative.

The Pan African Travel Forum will also be about connecting the Africa Diaspora to Africa. “Mzembi’s attendance also shows support for Africa and African Diaspora cultural heritage tourism,” says Pope.
“Having Mzembi attend solidifies all of these components and concepts.” Dr. Mzembi was inducted as honoree into the Hall of Fame for the inaugural African Diaspora World Tourism Awards in Atlanta in 2013.

To date, Dr. Mzembi is the longest serving Africa tourism minister in UNWTO, currently serving as chair for the United Nation Commission on Africa. He is credited with institutionalizing tourism in the Africa Union which had long overlooked tourism as a critical factor in economic and social cohesion and development. He has also been a member of Parliament for the Masvingo South Constituency since 2004 and UNWTO’s Commission for Africa Chairperson from 2013 to date. His experience in the world of tourism includes such international positions as Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community Committee of Tourism Ministers in 2015, UNWTO Executive Council Member from 2009 to 2013, and the UNWTO Co-President in Session 20 of the General Assembly from 2013-2015.

Mzembi has also served as president of now Washington DC-based Africa Travel Association [ATA] three times.

Mzembi’s journey to the candidature started with his nomination by the Government of Zimbabwe and was subsequently followed by an endorsement by the Southern Africa Development Community region and now the African Union. The Secretary General’s post falls vacant in May 2017 when incumbent Taleb Rifai’s term expires.

Nominations for the post will be held in Egypt in October, upon which Mzembi will officially know his opponents.