CAIRO: Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport received its first flight from Kazakhstan as part of the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s efforts to stimulate air and tourist traffic following the pandemic shutdown.
There were 234 passengers on board and a public relations team greeted them with flowers. All necessary facilities were provided to expedite the completion of arrival procedures, as well as the application of precautionary and preventive measures to preserve the health and safety of travelers and workers.
Iman Mahmoud, director general of domestic tourism at the General Authority for Tourism Promotion, said that the authority’s office in the governorate presented the passengers with souvenirs to introduce them to Egypt, its ancient civilization and magnificent sites.
Arman Isagaliev, Kazakhstan's ambassador in Cairo, said that all tourist destinations in Egypt were safe and ready to receive visitors as these places implemented health and safety controls that made people feel safe while they were enjoying their vacation.
He stressed the need for efforts to promote Egyptian tourist destinations in Kazakhstan and suggested operating a direct route to Cairo to enable visits to Al-Zahir Baybars Mosque after its opening, in addition to other cultural and archaeological monuments in the capital.
He added that there were a large number of tourists who came from Kazakhstan to Sharm El-Sheikh only, not Cairo, as there were only direct flights to the Red Sea beach hotspot.
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani thanked the ambassador for his praise of the Al-Zahir Baybars Mosque restoration project, saying the ministry was keen to preserve the country's archaeological heritage and that it had overcome obstacles to resume the project in 2018 after a years-long hiatus.
Hisham Mohi, head of the Tour Guides Association in South Sinai, said that the new Sharm El-Sheikh Museum would stimulate tourist movement inside the city and provide visitors with insights and knowledge about Egypt’s ancient civilization.
Ezzat Al-Kerdousi, a tour guide in Sharm El-Sheikh, said that the opening of the museum meant that the city would not just be a beach destination but a cultural one too, especially for fans of pharaonic civilization.
He added that there must be coordination with travel companies to bring people from everywhere, specifically the Asian tourism market because it was scarce in Egypt, so that visiting the museum was included in all tourism programs.
The trip from Kazakhstan is a continuation of foreign holidays to Egypt since the resumption of tourism on July 1.
The number of tourists coming to the cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh since then has reached 190,000.