Sunday, April 29, 2012

UNWTO conf. kicks off on optimistic note

UNWTO conf. kicks off on optimistic note
As a sign of the local tourism industry's continuous recovery, the Second United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) International Conference on Tourism and Media kicked off yesterday in the Red Sea resort town of Marsa Alam under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourist Authority in Egypt (ETA) with the participation of a galaxy of local and foreign media officials as well as representatives of travel agencies.


Mounir Fakhry Abdul Nour, the Minister of Tourism and Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of UNWTO have jointly opened the conference, which runs until today.
About 300 participants and officials from international organisations and tourism and media representatives from Arab countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt are taking part in this important gathering that began with a key note speech in which Minister Abdul Nour has affirmed that the nation's tourism sector it is rising to the 2010 levels the January 25 Revolution.
Abdul Noour told the conference, held under the banner of Partnering with the Media in Challenging Times, that the number of tourists booking summer flights to Egypt this year was more than the reservations in the same period of 2010.
Elaborating on this point, the Minister said that the number of flight reservations by tourism companies exceeded what it had been in the summer of 2010.
"This means that the number of tourists visiting Egypt this year may reach that in the peak year, almost 13 million," he said.
Minister Abul Nour said that the two-day gathering aims at emphasising the Egyptian pioneering position as a host to the most important historical, cultural, and artistic events in the Middle East region.
Moreover, he continued, the conference stresses on Egypt's unique stance as a favourable destination for tourists around the world.
Participants of the conference have come to Marsa Alam to highlight the role of tourism in media, review the practices of successful communication, and debate the most important tools to achieve a clear vision on media and tourism communication, Minister Abul Nour explained.
Meanwhile, UNWTO chief Taleb el-Rifai welcomed all participants in this conference and praised the key role played by media to support and stimulate the Egyptian tourism sector.
He also praised the roles being played by the Ministry and the ETA in organising significant international conferences and meetings in the field of tourism.
Mr el-Rifai praised the significant and effective role being played by the media in developing and promoting the culture of tourism in the Arab world.
He said that the UNWTO would continue co-operating with the media to help develop mechanisms of providing accurate information and delivering them in a timely manner.
Such mechanisms will give media outlets the ability to portray the true picture of Egypt's current situation and broadcast accurate news thereby reinforcing their credibility, he said.
The Second International Conference of UNWTO, he continued, will discuss the latest international best techniques in the field of handling and dealing with the media during crises to support efforts made to overcome them.

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