BEIJING: According to official data available with NPTV China has the world’s largest number of outbound tourists.
The number of trips made by Chinese people to other countries or regions reached 135 million in 2016, compared to 5 million in 1995, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
This represents an annual increase of 17.6 percent on average over 21 years, said the NBS. China has been the country with most outbound tourists in annual terms since 2013, according to the NBS.
China’s outbound tourism market is estimated to increase by 5 percent annually on average in the coming years, bringing the number of outbound tourists to 157 million in 2020, according to the China Tourism Academy, a think tank under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Egypt witnesses revival of tourism
CAIRO: Egypt has hosted remarkable regional and international conferences and expositions over the past few months, which could accelerate the revival of the country’s tourism sector, experts said.
Organization of conferences and exhibitions are important for advertising security and stability in Egypt as main pillars of luring more tourists, said Ilhamy al-Zayat, former chairman of the Tourism Chambers in Egypt.
“Egypt is the most qualified African country for hosting international conferences and expos for its strong infrastructure on the level of roads, exhibitions centers, hotels and different means of transport as well as security stability,” al-Zayat told Xinhua.
Among the important conferences hosted by Egypt in 2018 was the latest Africa 2018 Forum, which concluded in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday with the participation of 10 African leaders and more than 3,000 African entrepreneurs.
In parallel, the African food expo Food Africa 2018 was held in Cairo from Dec. 8 to 10, which was attended by 300 Egyptian and foreign companies.
Egypt also launched its first international defense expo EDEX 2018 this month, drawing 376 military companies from 41 countries and more than 10,000 visitors.
In November, Sharm el-Sheikh also hosted two other large events, World Youth Forum with 5,000 participators from 160 countries and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
Al-Zayat said these conferences could help increase revenues for Egypt through hotel and flight reservations and selling of souvenirs.
The conference tourists will spend 500 U.S. dollars per day compared to 100 dollars by the ordinary tourists, while the visitors from rich countries could even spend 5,000 dollars on a daily basis, he noted.
Moreover, some technical exhibitions, such as in the field of medicine, are often accompanied by showcasing products, which, in turn, will increase the chances of trade, the Egyptian expert said.
Al-Zayat called on Egypt’s tourism ministry to establish a special authority for advertising conferences and expos and post the list of all these events on the ministry official page.
Egypt’s tourism revenue jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to about 4.8 billion dollars, according to the tourism ministry.
Egyptian tourism has been gradually recovering from a downturn in 2011 triggered by a popular uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.
In addition, the Egyptian pound was allowed to float in late 2016, a decision that almost halved the currency’s value and made a trip to the Arab country a relatively cheap bet for foreign visitors.
The number of tourists traveling to Egypt in 2017 was 7.3 million compared to 14.7 million in 2010 before the uprising.
Waleed al-Batoty, representative of the International Union for Tour Guides in the Middle East and North Africa, said organizing international conferences sent a message that “Egypt is a safe country.”
Egypt was a pioneer in organizing conferences before the 2011 uprising, and now it tries to regain its place, al-Batoty, also an advisor to a former Egyptian tourism minister, told Xinhua.
These events will promote tourism in Egypt because most visitors are also keen to know more about the country’s history and culture, he explained.
The conference center in Sharm el-Sheikh and other expo halls in New Cairo are fully equipped to promote exhibition tourism in Egypt, al-Batoty noted.
French tourists choosing Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: More and more French and European tourists are choosing Pakistan as a preferred destination for tourism.
This was stated by the representatives of the top tour operators of France who met the Ambassador of Pakistan to France Moin ul Haque in Paris on Friday. According to a message received here from Paris, the tour operators who visited Pakistan in September this year in their separate presentations briefed the Ambassador about their visit which gave them first-hand experience of tourism potential of Pakistan. Consequently, they have introduced new tour packages for Pakistan and have also created separate web pages on their websites dedicated to Pakistan.
In response to this promotional drive, tour packages offered by famous French Clio Travels for 2019 were already sold out. Roots Travel will offer a special package for a trip to Gilgit Baltistan, while Nomad Adventure was promoting mountaineering expeditions from Pakistan. Similarly, Guide Petit Fute has decided to issue a new edition of its tourist guidebook on Pakistan in March 2019 and will also organize a special exhibition of photographs of their visit to Pakistan.
The Ambassador thanked the French tour operators for being a valuable partner in promoting Pakistan as a tourist destination. He briefed them about Embassy’s cultural and tourism diplomacy initiatives which included setting a Tourism Desk at the Embassy, launching of a tourism website in the French language, holding of International Conference on Mountain of Pakistan in Paris, publication of special dossiers on Pakistan in local tourism magazines, and airing of documentaries on Pakistan on local TV channels. The Ambassador informed the tour operators that a dedicated Tourism Office will be opened in the Embassy to further promote cooperation in the tourism sector between Pakistan and France.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Germany braces for train turmoil as workers strike today
Frankfurt am Main: Germany’s state train operator Deutsche Bahn is bracing for severe disruptions Monday due to a nationwide rail workers’ strike over pay.
National, regional, and local train traffic will be affected even after the end of the stoppage scheduled to last from 5:00 am to 9:00 am (0400 GMT to 0800 GMT), Deutsche Bahn said Sunday.
It did not specify how many trains would be canceled, or how many passengers are likely to be inconvenienced.
Pay negotiations between Deutsche Bahn and the EVG rail workers’ union, demanding a 7.5-percent salary raise for 160,000 employees, ended without agreement on Saturday.
“The employer made offers which did not correspond to the demands of our members,” said EVG negotiator Regina Rusch-Ziemba.
But the railway operator in a statement described the strike as “completely futile” saying its offer was “attractive and met the main demands” of employees. German news agency DPA said Deutsche Bahn invited the union to new talks this afternoon.