Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities on the country’s tourism industry and sustainability

CREDIT: CNN’s Quest Means Business

KHALED EL-ANANY, EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF TOURISM AND ANTIQUITIES: We had a very good summer. The Russians resume to Egypt after six years ban to the Red Sea area, to Sharm el-Sheikh. The British started to fly back from London to Sharm el-Sheikh two weeks ago. The Germans are coming, the Italians resumed, Ukrainian, Belarus, Saudi Arabia. So, we have very good numbers during the last two or three months. And we’re very optimistic because we’ll be the only destination which have warm winter. So, you can swim in Egypt during Christmas time.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Are you expecting a bump for Christmas? Do you think it’s going to be a bonanza this year and into Easter next year?

EL-ANANY: Yes. I’m very optimistic for the winter because it’s a warm winter. Because Egypt is a wonderful and the ideal destination for the post-Covid time. All our destinations are open air, are sunny. And the Covid is almost inexistent in this destination, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. Even during the peak time of the Covid.

QUEST: Because you have had a very difficult time with Covid in Egypt.

EL-ANANY: Like the whole world, yes.

QUEST: The question of sustainability, what do you want from — what do you want by way of policy in terms of sustainability for tourism?

EL-ANANY: In our strategy of the government 2030, we have one of our main pillars is sustainable tourism, and this is done with strong cooperation with the minister of the environment, key representative of the pavilion. We have to preserve this natural heritage and the antiquities for the next generations. And this needs a lot of capacity building, a lot of awareness, a lot of partnership with the private sector. While we are talking now, our president is in Glasgow participating in the COP26, and Egypt is the next one in Sharm el-Sheikh. So, it is a big file, and we have to work on balanced environment in Egypt.