Egypt expects a surge in tourist numbers with the opening of The Grand Egyptian Museum
Egypt is gearing up to welcome an increasing number of tourists over the next year as the country prepares to open The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which for the first time will host the display of all Tutankhamun’s artefacts in one single place. With the museum due for a partial opening in the first quarter of 2019, tourism authorities are rubbing their hands for a prosperous start to next year’s tourism season.
Egypt is gearing up to welcome an increasing number of tourists over the next year as the country prepares to open The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which for the first time will host the display of all Tutankhamun’s artefacts in one single place.
With the museum due for a partial opening in the first quarter of 2019, tourism authorities are rubbing their hands for a prosperous start to next year’s tourism season.
The prospective opening of one of the archaeological world’s most eagerly awaited museums is expected to drive a large tourism influx to Egypt next year. With nearly six years in the making, the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), also known as the Giza Museum, will be ready to welcome its first visitors in the first quarter of 2019.
Gearing up to its partial reveal to the world, tourism authorities in Giza, and elsewhere in Egypt are preparing for a surge in foreign holidaymakers. The draw of the new Grand Egyptian Museum will be strong, given it will be housing all of Tutankhamun’s artefacts together in one single place for the first time.
In addition to this, the museum’s lobby will display the colossal statue of King Ramesses II and the column of King Merneptah, his son. The museum’s grand staircase will have 87 royal statues as well as large statues, including those of Kings Khafre, Senusret, Akhenaten, Menkaure and Amenhotep III.
Speaking about the soon-to-be-finished attraction, Dr Rania Al Mashat, Egypt’s Tourism Minister, said:
“Egypt is the world’s capital of cultural tourism. [Visitors] will witness chapters of civilisation unfold with 50,000 pieces of unique artefacts, housed in a modern architectural building that will utilise state of the art technology to educate in an engaging way.”
The strategic location of the museum against the backdrop of the Great Pyramid of Giza will be a big draw for worldwide tourists, and to complete the new build, the Giza plateau is also undergoing an extensive renovation project that will include a leisure complex with a boutique hotel, cinemas and restaurants. In recognition of this joint effort to improve the experience for Cairo visitors, the first woman tourism minister in Egypt added that the two renewed attractions would be:
“A sight to behold for visitors and hugely uplifting and inspirational for all, whatever their age and wherever they’re from.”
The technological aspect of the revitalised ancient attractions will play a big role in raising awareness about Egypt’s incredibly fascinating ancient attractions among a younger travel audience, as recognised by Al Mashat:
“Younger generations and millennials who seek state-of-the-art interactivity to gain an authentic experience of an ancient world. They represent the fastest-growing demographic of travellers around the world, a community that we must, and will, look to attract.”
After some turbulent years following political turmoil in 2011 and the Russian plane crash of October 2015, Egypt’s tourism industry is slowly getting back on track and the figures of international arrivals have started to pick up again.
Egypt received around 8 million visitors in 2017, a far cry from the 14.7 million it received in 2010 prior to the revolution and political uprising, but still a positive figure when compared to the previous year. In the first quarter of 2018, it had already received 2.38 million, an increase of 37 percent when compared to the same period last year.
According to official data, in this period Egypt’s tourism revenue also increased by a whopping 86 percent. Forecasters are positive about rising figures for the rest of 2018 and expect a considerable upward spike in tourism influx next year, to coincide with the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum.
Along with the new museum, the Fairmont Citystars Sharm El Sheikh will also open in 2018 while several Marriott and Hilton properties are currently being developed across all of Egypt. To add to this, Rotana has signed an agreement for the construction of a new 200-room hotel in New Cairo. It seems that Egypt is firmly back on the way to recovery after all and not looking back.
In 2017 it was declared the world’s number one nation for growth in direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP with an increase of 72.9 percent, leisure travel spending going up by 80.4 percent and employment figures rising by 33 percent. 2018 looks like a promising year indeed for Egypt’s tourism, and 2019, even more so!
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