“M.A. Kharafi Group Gives Strong Endorsement For Foreign Investment in Egyptian Tourism”
(Cairo - 6 Dec. 2003)
delivered by a khrafi Group spokesman on behalf of Mr.Loay L-Kharafi at the
Egypt Invest 2003 Conference in Cairo 4 December, Gave a strong endorsement for
foreign direct investment in Egyptian tourism.
Mr. Kharafi, s speech opened noting that “there is probably no other economic activity where Egypt truly enjoys such a world class and unique comparative advantage”.
“Its abundance of natural beauty –deserts and mountains, the Nile River, sea-coasts, sea-Life and coral reefs; its weather, wild-life and plant life- All combine to give the country unique physical and ecological beauty in a year round comfortable climate. Furthermore no country can compete with Egypt as a unique repository for ancient antiquities and the physical examples of man’s creativity and development over the span of time.”
Adding to this, Kharafi noted further that “Egypt’s geographic positioning adds weight to its advantages. Egypt is at the crossroads of three continents and within several hours flight from source markets containing literally billions of people. Moreover it’s comparative.
Advantage in tourism is enhanced by the fact that it is a country of safety, security and political stability with a natural warmth and friendliness in its people that are recognized the world over.”
Addressing Egypt’s relative low level of international tourist arrivals (5.5 million in 2000) compared with other comparable destination (Greece-13 million/ Mexico 21 Million) Kharafi noted that “the development of the Egyptian Tourism centers, related infrastructure and products have been somewhat abhor and un-planned by international standards. The mass market has become largely controlled by tour operators as resort managers and owners have allowed room rates to plunge to levels inconsistent with product quality and certainly the norms for investment returns.”
Kharafi further emphasized that “if Egypt is to attract a greater share of the higher yielding market segments, then resort community development will have to take a different route in terms of planning, community design, architectural harmonization with the environment, infrastructure quality, product quality, service, positioning and in the creation of dynamic resort communities that offer fun, freedom, adventure, activity, edutainment, entertainment and life- time memories creation.”
He then pointed out that the Group’s developments in the Marsa Alam area, which represents a $ 1.2 Billion 8 year investment program, demonstrates a clear commitment if the group’s belief in Egyptian tourism Investment. “Marsa Alam for the M.A.Kharafi Group represents an opportunity to alter the paradigm of tourism investment and development in Egypt. Port Ghalib and its linkage to the Marsa Alam international Airport- which gives it direct air linkage with global source markets- can and will be a new landmark international destination resort community positioned to compete on an individual basis against the finest resort communities in the world. It will focus on a number of markets segments and have the installations, products, services and facilities to attract upper mass “Sun and Sea, MICE, Cultural, Adventure, Frequent independent Travelers and Eco-tourism market segments- all higher yielding market segments and groups than those presently forming the bulk of Egyptian tourism volumes.”
Kharafi was confident that Egypt should be able to reach 15-20 Million tourists per year, if the required level of investment is attracted in new, better designed and international market driven resort communities like port Ghalib.