Egypt visitor numbers to rise 20% in 2013

Updated 06 May 2013
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Egypt visitor numbers to rise 20% in 2013

Egypt’s historic and solid tourism base is helping it to withstand negative impacts and improve its performance, says Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou.
“Despite the challenges, I expect the tourism industry to return to normal levels. We are determined to reach the tourism peak levels achieved in 2010,” said Zaazou, who is currently visiting Dubai to attend the Arabian Tourism Market events.
Zaazou said the Egyptian tourism industry is continuing to grow and tourism is a top priority for the government.
“Our target is to increase visitor numbers 20 percent this year,” he said.
“Egypt has 200,000 hotel rooms, most of them located in the Red Sea and Sinai, and another 208,000 are under construction,” he said.
“Almost of 50 percent of service exports are due to tourism; 14.4 percent of foreign currency earnings and 11.3 percent of GDP are directly and indirectly due to tourism,” said the minister.
“The number of inbound tourists rose to 11.5 million in 2012 from 9.8 million in 2011,” said the minister.
He said the number of Arab tourists visiting Egypt hit a record of 2.3 million compared with 1.8 million in 2011 and 2.1 million in 2010.
Zaazou said the tourism ministry is launching a range of measures to restore tourism rates to normal levels and consequently driving more investments into the country.
Addressing a press conference in Dubai, Zaazou said his ministry has plans to offer many incentives and offers for Arab families who visit Egypt during the summer season.
He said the ministry has installed cameras in popular tourism locations to provide live feeds online which will reflect the calm and stable state they are in. This will aid in providing peace of mind for tourists, through showing them the level of safety found in these areas.
Zaazou said the tourism industry is considered to be a key pillar of Egypt’s national economy, accounting for 11.3 percent of GDP.
The industry also provides 15.2 percent of foreign exchange earnings, 45.1 percent of exports services and 9.2 percent of the volume of investments in the services sector.
In addition, it provides job opportunities for 12.6 percent of the total workforce in Egypt.
He also highlighted Egypt’s ranking as the 18th destination from the top 50 destinations worldwide and receiving the first place among the tourism destinations in MENA region during the year 2012.
“Tourism rates have started to return to normal levels, and to move toward the high rates witnessed in 2010,” he said.
“The first three months of the year 2013 saw a growth in the number of tourists coming to Egypt, which amounted for 2.8 million, reflecting an increase of 14.6 % compared to the first quarter of 2012,” the minister said.
“We will be concentrating our efforts on various global markets and in particular the Arab markets, as the number of Arab tourists amounted for 520,000 this year which reflects an increase of 7.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012,” he added.
Records show that the number of tourists who visited Egypt during the three months of 2013 is 2,865,097 tourists, compared to2,500,301 tourists in 2012 which shows an increase of about 14.6 percent. Furthermore, the number of nights tourists spent in Egypt is about 37 million nights, compared to around 29 million nights in the first quarter of 2012, which again shows an increase 28.1 percent.


Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 29 min 14 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.