CAIRO, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Egypt aims at increasing the number of foreign tourists by 25 to 30 percent annually and boosting its revenues, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said on Tuesday.
Issa's remarks came during an evening ceremony held at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to mark the annual World Tourism Day on Sept. 27, which coincides this year with the 200th anniversary of the creation of the field of Egyptology and the decoding of ancient hieroglyphs.
"The tourism industry is one of the main pillars of the national economy, and it is linked with many complimentary industries and contributes to providing job opportunities directly and indirectly," Issa told the attendees.
The tourism ministry plans to improve the quality of the tourism experience of every foreign tourist coming to Egypt, the investment environment in hotels and shopping malls, as well as the quality of services provided to tourists whether in airports, streets, or taxis, according to Issa.
He added that his ministry will coordinate with the aviation ministry to increase the number of planes and the capacity of airports.
The tourism minister also spoke of the Chinese market as one of the promising markets for Egypt's tourism industry.
"The Chinese market is very important for the Egyptian tourism industry. All our market research and strategic plans so far show the significant and high potential in the Chinese market," Issa said.
"The entire ministry is working very diligently with the private sector to make sure that they have the right plans and the right products to sell to the Chinese market," he continued, adding that he's "very optimistic" about the potential growth of the number of Chinese visitors in the future.
Issa took a tour inside the Egyptian Museum and inaugurated a temporary exhibition at one of the halls marking World Tourism Day and 200 years of Egyptology, which displays a collection of statues of ancient scribes and ancient writing tools.
The ministry opened on Tuesday most museums and archaeological sites, including the Giza Pyramids, for visitors for free.