Following the Israeli decision to seek arbitration on Taba in return for implementing various agreements signed between Israel and Egypt, the Egyptian minister for tourism visited Israel and signed the following communique with his host, the Israeli minister of tourism. In addition to discussing bi-lateral matters, they recommended holding a meeting of ministers of tourism of Mediterranean countries. Text:
1. Upon the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Avraharn Sharir, Minister of Tourism and Justice of Israel, His Excellency Fuad Sultan, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Egypt, visited Israel during the period 3-6 August 1986 in order to exchange views on the current tourism situation in the area and the Mediterranean Basin, and to discuss issues of mutual concern, with a view to fostering tourism between Egypt and Israel and to them from third countries.
The two delegations, headed by the ministers, and comprised of members of the private tourism sector as well as government officials, examined practical ways and means of promoting Egypt-Israel tourism and addressed specific problems pertaining thereto.
2. The two ministers confirmed the great importance of tourism for their two countries, both as a means of cementing friendly ties between neighbors by reciprocal visits, and as a major factor in their economic development.
They stressed the need to help create adequate ground for mutual tourism and to combine their efforts in promoting foreign tourism to their countries.
3. Meeting of Ministers of Tourism of Mediterranean Countries
It is mutually agreed to work towards convening a meeting of Ministers of Tourism of Mediterranean countries (such as Greece, Italy, France, Cyprus, Turkey, in addition to Egypt and Israel), to find ways and means of surmounting the current situation affecting tourism to this area and discuss plans for future regional tourism promotion and cooperation.
It is agreed that the two ministers will approach the other Ministers of Tourism on the basis of this proposal and would propose a meeting. The place of the meeting will be decided upon at a later date.
In furtherance of their declared aim to develop combined tour packages from third countries to Egypt and Israel, the two sides agreed on launching joint promotion campaigns in third countries in general, and in the U.S.A. in particular.
The details of the campaign and the budget in each third country will be finalised by Israeli-Egyptian ad hoc committees comprised of members of the tourism private sector and Ministry of Tourism officials of both countries.
Both ministers will instruct their offices abroad accordingly.
4. Joint Activities in the U.S.A.
Both sides note with satisfaction the joint activities already taken by their national tourism offices, national airlines and the private sector in the U.S.A., with the purpose of promoting combined tour packages to both countries. These include:
a) Two groups of U.S. travel agents and travel writers will visit both countries on a date to be approved by the two sides as soon as possible.
b) Arrangements will be made for joint seminars to encourage such combined tour packages. The Egyptian side welcomes the invitation extended by the Israeli side to attend the meeting scheduled to take place in New York City during September 1986, between officers of the Government Tourist Offices and members of the trade of the two countries to consider details of a joint promotion and marketing campaign.
5. Tourism Promotion Week
It was agreed to discuss the matter at a later date between the two Ministries of Tourism, with a view to holding a Tourism Week for each country as early as possible to promote understanding between the two peoples, in order to stir up interest and increase visits between the two countries.