26 February 2024 09:50 PM

Egypt MOTA, USAID host tourism investment forum

Tuesday، 28 November 2023 - 08:03 PM

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted the ‘Rewarding Investments in Facility Management in Cultural Heritage Sites’ tourism forum in Cairo on Tuesday 28/11/2023.

Minister Ahmed Issa said the forum is for investing in services in archaeological and heritage areas, and rehabilitating and exploiting some areas to provide investment opportunities.

“It offers huge opportunities for investment in Egypt to provide a unique experience for all tourists interested in cultural heritage. It also develops investment by the private sector in the tourism industry,” Issa added.

Issa said his ministry has many partnerships with the private sector to provide and operate services in important archaeological sites such as the Giza Plateau and the Grand Egyptian Museum.

He pointed out that the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has 2,000 archaeological sites throughout the country, of which only 130 are open to the public. There are 40 museums, of which only 30 are open.

“Therefore, we have ample scope for co-operation as we entrust the private sector with the management and operation of services,” the minister said.

The forum highlighted the successful model of partnership with the Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism (IMCT) project.

Funded by the USAID with $13 million, it is implemented by a group of local and international companies under the supervision of the Ministry.

“This project has worked with the Ministry over the past three years to simplify the legislative and regulatory environment and develop models for public-private partnerships in the field of investment in services in archaeological areas,” Issa said.

In addition to developing adaptable reuse plans for sites that would allow investors to establish businesses in historic sites, as well as integrate local communities, he added.

The project has identified 11 sites in Historic Cairo and Luxor, and the project is working to rehabilitate them to be ready when concluding upcoming partnerships with the private sector.

USAID Egypt mission director Sean Jones said the US government, through USAID, acknowledges the significance of tourism in bolstering Egypt’s economy, generating millions of jobs, and attracting vital foreign currency.

“In Historic Cairo, USAID is partnering with MOTA to develop a portfolio of investable properties,” Jones said.

“Historic Cairo is part of Egypt’s broader cultural tourism investment portfolio which, if developed to its full potential, will help the country keep pace with global tourism competitors.”

The goal, he added, is to catalyse private investment and bring tangible, sustainable benefits to the Government of Egypt, private sector partners, and communities for generations to come.

Since 1995, the United States Government has invested over $120 million to conserve Egypt’s monuments and masterpieces, Jones said.

He pointed out that the two governments work together to identify significant sites throughout Historic Cairo and Luxor’s West Bank for adaptive reuse strategies, revitalising these locations while preserving their unique characteristics.

“This process includes comprehensive collaboration and discourse with the community, restoration specialists, and the private sector.

“The goal is for these locations to flourish as hubs for cultural exchange, social interaction, and economic development,” he added.

The forum was attended by investors and partners interested in investing in services at archaeological sites, in addition to development partners and donors interested in contributing to the restoration and preservation of heritage.

At the forum, about 20 sites that were rehabilitated by the SCA were presented for investment through the Ministry.

Egyptian Gazette

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