Africa Tourism Forum Launches in Sharm El Sheikh

Africa Tourism Forum Launch

THE AFRICA TOURISM FORUM IN SHARM EL SHEIKH AIMS TO BOOST TOURISM COOPERATION AND ATTRACT INVESTMENTS, SUPPORTING ECONOMIC GROWTH ACROSS AFRICA.


The Africa Tourism Forum (ATF24Egypt) commenced yesterday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Organized by the Rixos Group and the Turkish GMT Exhibition and Conference Organizing Company, the event gathered ministers, officials, and investors from across Africa. Attendees included ambassadors, businessmen, and over 2,000 international tourism professionals from 35 countries.

The forum, a first in Africa, aims to enhance cooperation in tourism among African nations, attract foreign investments, and create jobs for African youth. Dr. Ahmed Issa, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Major General Khaled Fouda, Governor of South Sinai, and Fettah Tamince, Founder of Rixos Hotels, attended the opening ceremony. Other notable attendees included Nasser Abdel Latif, Owner of Rixos Egypt, Selcuk Meral, Director of GMT, and Dr. Yousry El Sharkawy, Chairman of the African-Egyptian Businessmen Association.

Minister Issa emphasized the need for unified policies to boost shared interests and intra-African tourism. He described the forum as a platform to showcase Africa’s unique tourism potential and promote joint tourism cooperation. Issa highlighted the continent’s significant recovery in tourism, with inbound levels at 96% of 2019 figures, making Africa the fastest-growing tourism market in 2023.

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Egypt’s tourism industry has recently achieved positive results. The National Tourism Development Strategy aims for 25%-30% annual growth, targeting 30 million tourists by 2028. The strategy focuses on increasing flight capacity, improving investment climate, and enhancing tourist experiences. In 2023, Egypt welcomed a record 14.906 million tourists, surpassing the previous high of 14.731 million in 2010.

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Insights on Africa’s Tourism Potential and Development Needs

Governor Khaled Fouda highlighted tourism’s vital role in African economies, especially amidst regional challenges. He stressed the importance of cooperation among tourism sectors, citing the participation of over 2,000 attendees from more than 30 countries. Fouda pointed out Africa’s potential to become a top global tourism destination due to its natural and cultural resources.

Dr. Yousry El Sharkawy called the forum a historic opportunity to strengthen tourism cooperation and attract foreign investments. He emphasized Africa’s vast tourism potential, from natural scenery to cultural sites, and the need for collaborative infrastructure development and high-quality services.

Fettah Tamince highlighted the African Tourism Forum’s significance for sustainable development in Africa’s tourism sector. He praised Sharm El Sheikh as a top tourist destination and recommended Egypt for its attractions, favorable climate, and potential to draw 60 million tourists annually.

Sessions and Workshops at African Tourism Forum

The forum’s first session, “How to Create a Luxury Brand,” featured speakers like Gaurav Bhushan of Accor Hotels and Fettah Tamince. The program includes events on sustainable, cultural, and digital tourism, investment, marketing, and human resource development. Workshops cover starting tourism projects, using social media, creating content, and excellent customer service.

An exhibition showcases tourism companies, hotels, and destinations across Africa. The Africa Tourism Forum continues today with more discussions, workshops, presentations, and networking sessions. The event aims to develop recommendations for enhancing African tourism cooperation and attracting foreign investments, crucial for sustainable sector growth.

Final Words

The African Tourism Forum plays a crucial role in the development and sustainability of tourism in Africa. By fostering cooperation and attracting investments, the forum contributes significantly to the economic growth and sustainable development of African nations.

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