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Egypt's Tourism facing a new start
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 09 - 03 - 2012

BERLIN - Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour who is leading a high-level official team to the five-day International Tourism Bourse (ITB), which opens in the German capital today, said that Egypt's tourism sector is facing a new start after a "difficult" 2011.
"There is reason for optimism," he told a press conference after German Economics Minister Philipp Roesler had inaugurated the show.
"It's a new beginning at the right time after 2011 which was a turning point," the Minister added.
Minister Abdel-Nour said there were "positive signs" of better times ahead while acknowledging that much remained to be done, more than a year after the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
"The road will be long and sometimes bumpy but we are confident," he said.
"We are seeing some positive signs," he added, pointing to the economy. He voiced regret that media attention focused on events in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which he said did not represent the situation in other parts of the country where calm prevailed.
"Egypt's presence at ITB marks the country's keen interest in participating in this key event," Minister Abdel-Nour said, adding that the Arab country was named as the fair's guest of honour this year.
Today, he is scheduled to open the Egyptian pavilion to promote several key tourism products and events. The ITB 2012 gets off to a grand, colourful start with Egypt attracting considerable attention in the high-profile networking event of the tourism industry, the Minister said.
Numerous Egyptian and German dignitaries, senior officials, diplomats, business leaders and representatives of international media are expected to visit the Egyptian stand and will be briefed about Egypt and its tourism projects, he said.
Describing Egypt's participation in the ITB 2012 as "significant," the minister praised the great tourist attractions and cultural offerings of Egypt and its distinct presence at international exhibitions and events such as the Berlin fair.
Minister Abdel-Nour said he was pleased with the prompt response and keen interest shown in Egypt by the German and international media.
"This is a result of Egyptian strategy to develop and promote the tourism sector, maintaining the prominent position Egypt enjoys on global tourist map. It continues to attract international tourism markets, especially the German tourists," he said.
The Minister said Egypt attaches highest importance to its participation in the ITB Berlin as Germany and other European countries are its prime market providing the largest segment of tourists to Egypt.
"There's no doubt that Egypt's participation in ITB 2012 will have a huge impact on the co-operation and communication process in this sector. This will further boost the number of the German tourists into Egypt and promote the country's tourist attractions in the European market."

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