Egypt, technology and new discoveries for the revival of tourism
23 May 2019

Cairo focuses on technology to relaunch tourism, which is already recovering strongly compared to the crisis post 2010 and today is worth about 20 percent of the economy. “We have set up a reform of the sector in this sense – declared Rania al Mashat, the Minister of Tourism – and we want to innovate tourism through a more massive and conscious use of technology to relaunch Egypt’s image in the world in a contemporary way”.
Digitally speaking, major portals in the sector as well as specific mobile applications have contributed in recent years to attracting tourists and making their experience in the country more “modern”. In 2018, 11.3 million tourists visited the country – 421,000 of them from Italy – with the first months of 2019 recording an increase of 40 percent compared to the previous year. This year, over 100,000 Italians have already visited, and the Egyptian tourism office expects to exceed half a million. Italy in 2018 was the fourth European country in terms of arrivals after Germany, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, with an increase of 65 percent compared to 2017. Bookings for the year of 2019 show a growth of 100 percent over 2018, which recorded a total of 112 million overnight stays. The return of the Italians, as well as on the Red Sea, took place in the Nile Valley, Cairo, El Alamein, Marsa Matrouh, with a resumption also of cruises on the Nile. European countries occupy the first place in terms of number of visitors in 2018 with a total of almost seven million, followed by Arab countries with 3.3 million, Asian countries with 669 thousand, the Americas with 450 thousand and finally African countries with 165 thousand.
Egypt and the Red Sea with Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Marsa Alam are once again one of the favorite destinations for international tourism, which in 2010 employed 12 percent of total employees and had a turnover of over 12 billion dollars, with just under 15 million visitors committed each year to visit the beauties of the country.
Egypt also relies on its greatest heritage: archeology. The flagship is the Grand Egyptian Museum, also called Giza Museum. The new archaeological museum in Cairo, which will be inaugurated at the end of 2020, will contain a total of 100 thousand pieces, including over 5 thousand pieces of furnishings from the tomb of Tutankhamun from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, as well as from Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Assiut, Beni Suef, Fayoum, Delta and Alexandria.
Excavation projects in the country have multiplied. In 2018, very important archaeological discoveries were made. In particular, it was the locality of Saqqara that gave the greatest results, both in terms of quantity and quality of the findings. The large archaeological site a few kilometers from Cairo, known for the step pyramid (the Pyramid of DJoser, the oldest in the country), was the royal necropolis of Memphis when the city was the capital of the kingdom and later remained an important place of burial. At least three thousand years of history are deposited in Saqqara and last year important statues, food artifacts, nearby Roman villas, tombs, obelisks, minor pyramids emerged. The necropolis of Saqqara is therefore exponentially increasing its historical and archaeological value and is a candidate to become a new pole of attraction for tourism. A little north of Luxor in Abydos (or Abydos, which together with Heliopolis is one of the two holy cities of ancient Egypt) a royal hall with the first foundation stone was found in the archaeological excavations in the mortuary temple of Ramses II.
Technology, archaeological heritage, but also marketing. Communication was intensified to make every single find known to the world. On 8 May 2019, Cairo signed an agreement with CNN to promote tourism through an international campaign broadcast on television, as well as online sites and social media, starting at the end of the month. Earlier this year, CNN Travel released its annual list of the best destinations of the year, placing Egypt in second place after Christchurch, New Zealand. In Italy, a partnership was signed with a TV station to make a second, new series of documentaries about the secrets of ancient Egypt.