Egypt’s Aswan city suffered a further economic setback when it failed to join the World Travel Market forum in London. The governorate officials’ negligence deprived Egypt’s tourism sector of a golden opportunity to promote the city’s cultural heritage during the world’s most important tourism event.
In the midst of this new disaster, Hasan Abdul Qader; the Aswan Tourism Chamber secretary general exchanged accusations with the Regional Tourism Commission’s Chairman. Abdel Qader said he had hoped that Aswan would join Luxur city during the London based event “to promote Aswan’s diverse tourist experience which combines cultural tourism, therapeutic tourism, safari trips and natural scenery with its distinguished status as a crossroad of civilisations; Nubian, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic”.
Abdul Qader said that the “Aswan Governor had asked the Chamber to nominate a representative to attend the event during the Abu Simbel celebrations. We had explained to the Governor at the time that the British Embassy requires certain procedures to obtain a visa which is time consuming. Yet, we nominated a distinguished guide who was unable to obtain the visa to attend the event”. Abdul Qader said “the governor had referred the Chamber’s request to the Regional Tourism Commission who did not respond on time. And when asked why the answer was delayed, the response was strange asking ‘whom to choose?’ As if everyone was competing to win a trip. In the end Aswan was deprived of attending the forum at this critical time”.
Majdi Rabea’ the chairman of the regional tourism commission said, “the Secretary General of the Tourism Chamber is responsible for proposing the issue to the governor. The Tourism Chamber and Guides’ Union requested that a representative be nominated but the issue was not followed up. The rumours about a failure to obtain the necessary visa are incorrect. He (Abdul Qader) holds a U.S. passport and does not need visa.”