The first Greek-Egyptian Tourism Forum took place following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and her Egyptian counterpart in February.
During the start of the forum, representatives of the Egyptian Tourism Ministry thanked Greek Minister Kountoura for Greece’s presence and effective support to Egypt. They applauded the launch of of the forum, which creates new prospects for cooperation in tourism, a priority area for both countries.
On her part, Minister Kountoura expressed her condolences to the Egyptian people for the loss of lives onboard the EgyptAir Flight MS804 that crashed into the Mediterranean early Thursday. She then referred to the important role tourism plays in ensuring conditions of stability, prosperity, security and development in the region and presented the strong performance of Greek tourism and expressed her support towards the development of bilateral tourism relations with Egypt.
The forum was attended by 25 Greek travel agents and representatives of various sectors of the tourism market in Greece who held B2B meetings with Egyptian tourism professionals.
While in Cairo, Minister Kountoura attended a meeting with her Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Yehia Rashed, at Egypt’s tourism ministry and discussed possible cooperations for the launch of cruise routes in the southeastern Mediterranean for 2017 and festivals to promote culture and tourism.
The Egyptian media gave extensive coverage to Minister Kountoura’s presence in Cairo since it was the first visit by a foreign dignitary after the country’s recent events.
According to reports, Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Europe accounts for 72 percent of Egypt’s annual tourism to Egypt, according to the Egyptian tourism ministry.