Minister of Tourism Zuhair Garrana said that Egyptian Tourism industry is witnessing great advancement in usage of modern technology in the tourism field represented in the electronic gate that by the end of July this year will comprise twelve languages including Japanese and Chinese.
In his address in front of the First Tourism and Visa Forum he explained that working with visa is closely connected with tourism industry.
He indicated that in the past the tourist had to carry with him a lot of cash money and cheques but the situation has changed now as it is enough for the tourist to carry a small card through which he can spend during his trip, which is regarded as positive change that relieves the tourist and make him feel comfortable.
Garrana made it clear that during 2006 around 12% of tourists coming to Egypt used the “Visa Card” during their presence in Egypt.
He added that there are 23633 hotels, cafes and restaurants that accept dealing with Visa Card. He highlighted the importance of existence of more cooperation among financial bodies and tourism bodies for increasing the establishments that accept dealing with electronic cards which would lead to increase of tourism and travel movement.
The Minister of Tourism added that as long as the tourism industry is increasing in strength the standard of living of the entire society becomes higher. He reiterated that the Egyptian tourist destination witnessed a remarkable growth in the past years through the development of the infra-structure to become on the highest level as the hotel capacity amounted to 184000 hotel rooms in addition to 132000 rooms under construction.
He explained that it is planned that 15000 rooms would be added annually, which means that Egypt will possess the highest hotel capacity in the entire region, which is coupled with a great uprising in the Egyptian airports that would qualify them to compete the major world airports.
Vice-President of World Visa Foundation and Director General of the Foundation in Egypt and Libya Tareq El-Husseiny said that electronic payments represent the engine for economic growth and effective tool for developing the tourism sector.
He added that during the period from 2004 till last year 2006 the total expenditure in Tourism sector was raised at a rate of 56% while spending with Visa Cards increased from 9 to 12%. He assured that the expansion of network of acceptance of electronic payment in Egypt will contribute to the development of the tourism sector and eventually the Egyptian economy.
He added that the expansion of network of acceptance of the electronic payments will help on developing the revenue from Tourism sector, which is a joint responsibility among all concerned bodies that requires strong partnership relations among these bodies.
El-Husseiny stressed importance of coordinating efforts between the government, banks, businessmen, mass media and Visa Foundation for reinforcing chances of electronic payments and encouraging expenditure in tourism sector through this system.
He presented a detailed display on relation between tourism sector and electronic payments and influence of that on economic growth as well as proposals for increasing dealing in tourism sector through electronic payments.
On his part the Chairman of Board of Directors of Al-Ahli Societe General Bank Mohamed El-Dib said that number of cards existing in the Egyptian market reached now to two million cards that are issued by 15 banks, while they were no more than 20000 since 10 years ago, that were issued by two banks only, which assures high growth accelerated rate in the Egyptian market that indicates larger potentialities of that market.
He concluded that tourists around the world depend on electronic payment networks as means for reaching to their money, as it provides them the accessibility of purchasing their needs without need to change currency and avoid risks associated with carrying money.