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Quest Means Business
COP27 Summit; World Off Track On Goal To Halt Global Warming; Ryanair Posts Strong Earnings; Investors Eye Potential Republican Gains; Musk: Shared Power Curbs The Worst Excess Of Both Parties; Qatar Expects Tourism Boom From Hosting World Cup. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 07, 2022 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We start a new week together and the markets are out ahead of the Midterm. Look at the Dow.
You can call this a gridlock rally, if you will. The markets are strongly up on the prospect of basically, Congress or House going the opposite way
and causing some gridlock, same for the triple stack by the way.
The triple stack is also sharply up not as much as the Dow, that's Boeing, but they are higher. Those are the markets and the main events to bring to
Pressure is building on rich economies and business to pay for the impact of climate change as leaders together in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The climate crisis at the forefront of discussions at today's World Travel Market. The Saudi Tourism Minister tells me it is all about growth and
And Spain wants to be an all year round destination. The government's Tourism Chief says summer crowds have nearly reached pre-pandemic levels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERNANDO VALDES, SPANISH SECRETARY OF TOURISM: We've recovered now nine out of 10 international tourists that we have in a record year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: From London tonight on Monday, November the 7th. I'm Richard Quest, and in London, I mean business.
Tonight, it seems solving climate change comes down to money. The central question leaders are asking at the UN Climate Summit in Egypt is who will
pay for the carbon transition?
The world leaders are at COP27 And the United States is reportedly pushing for businesses to take up more of the burden.
According to the FT, the US climate envoy, John Kerry is working on a new system of carbon credits. It would let corporations offset carbon emissions
by helping developing countries get off fossil fuels.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Becky Anderson that wealthy countries needed to do more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: It is wrong. We have to do more.
Europe is doing its fair share, 23 billion dollars or euros. We've said, we're going to pledge that last year, we did it, and we're going to give
more than 23 billion euros this year, too. But you're right, I mean, there's still a gap, and this gap has to be filled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, the warnings are the world is seriously and severely off track in pursuing its goals. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the
resulting crisis in energy led to a revival of dirty energy sources, and the US and China have not resumed cooperation on climate issues following
Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan.
France's President, Emmanuel Macron said these issues must not get in the way of progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): We will not sacrifice our climate commitments under the energy threat of Russia. Hence,
all of the commitments made by countries must continue for the richest countries in particular, the European countries, including France, it had
been delivering our national strategies in accordance with our commitments, which must now be respected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: David McKenzie is at the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh. He is with me now. It is coming down to money, isn't it? Who is going to pay, if you
like, the reparations, as it is the language of some or the loss in the words of others, but who is going to bear the cost of the transition in
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, who's going to bear the cost, Richard, but also whether the intent is there to bear the
If you look at the impacts of climate change, it will be far more expensive to deal with the climate catastrophe that we are facing, but it is always
more difficult to think about future expenditure, not current expenditure when it comes to these kinds of difficult choices.
And at this COP meeting, you do have developing countries and developed countries, rich countries in these negotiations to try and figure out how
to deal with this issue of both funding to make the transition, funding to adapt to the vagaries of climate change and funding to deal with what is
called loss and damage for the impact of these climate catastrophes.
You could hear the frustration in the Kenyan President's voice as he discussed how action needs to happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT: The lengthy discussions at COPs with its stalling, delaying tactics, and procrastination that have hampered
implementation and delivery is simply cruel and unjust.
We cannot afford to spend more time skirting around the real issues. And we must break out of the open ended, process focused discussions we are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: One of the big challenges, though, Richard is that rich countries don't want to have an open-ended liability to be blamed for
climate change, which they did create these issues, but they don't want to have lawsuits or they will try to have some kind of Sunset Clauses. These
are very difficult technical discussions.
But at the bottom of it, as you say, is trillions of dollars that is needed to get us out of this mess -- Richard.
QUEST: I noticed that, for example, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has already started to talk about the money that will be required,
and what the British can do, et cetera, but is it about finding a right price, that the wealthier countries do accept their responsibility in this?
And as the old joke goes, no, now it's just about how much it costs?
MCKENZIE: Well, there are some criticism that this is just kicking the can down the road, because of the latest, just to get this issue onto the
formal negotiating table was a stretch and now, they are talking about coming up with some kind of solution in 2024.
Several activists and experts I've spoken to say this is kicking the can down the road, and it needs to be practical dollar signs put on these
But again, how do you actually do this? Do you need an insurance facility of some kind? Do you need a pool of money that goes towards these countries
and their impact? We do know that there is increasing evidence, hard evidence that these climate impacts like flooding, droughts, and heatwaves
are made worse by climate change, and they can put a percentage on that.
This all gets very complicated, but at the end of it all, you really need rich countries and developing countries to come up with a common plan and
not be fighting each other on these issues.
QUEST: David McKenzie in Sharm El-Sheikh. Thank you, David.
So, it's a simple economic equation in some senses. Do you pay now for the climate change? Or do you pay in the future when you're going to be picking
up the cost of major disasters in places like Pakistan and Nigeria, which truly reveal the price of climate change?
As Becky Anderson now reports, the wealthy countries really have little choice.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice over): Never before seen rain in Pakistan, placing a third of the country underwater and killing
over 1,000 people and climate change likely caused the disaster.
BILAWAL BHUTTO ZARDARI, PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Frankly, the people of Pakistan, and the citizens of Pakistan are paying the price in their lives,
in their livelihoods for the industrialization of rich countries.
ANDERSON (voice over): Data from Oxfam shows that the richest one percent of the world is responsible for twice as many carbon emissions as the
poorest 50 percent in the last century. Yet, the poorest are often left to bear the brunt of climate change and pay a steep price.
Pakistan's biblical flooding has reignited the question of loss and damage to compensate developing countries for climate disasters.
While a little late, the EU and the US say they now support discussions on financial compensation, a sign that the tone may shift at the COP27 Climate
Conference in Egypt.
JOHN KERRY, US CLIMATE ENVOY: Simply put, with respect to finance, we, developed countries need to make good on the finance goals that we have
So Sharm El-Sheikh is another milestone for measurement for accountability and for focus.
ANDERSON (voice over): And here is why that matters: Without adequate financial investment, developing countries can't pivot away from fossil
fuels, but there has been some progress.
Take the United States and the United Arab Emirates, for example, who recently signed a partnership aimed at investing billions of dollars in
clean energy industries, particularly in emerging economies.
The White House said, "To help bridge the gap the two countries intend to work together to prioritize commercial projects in developing and low
income countries, as well as provide them technical and financial assistance.
Poorer countries will want to see similar pledges being made in Sharm El- Sheikh where organizers have vowed to make climate financing a key focus.
MAHMOUD MOHIELDIN, UN CLIMATE CHANGE HIGH LEVEL CHAMPION FOR EGYPT: Climate finance is insufficient, I would say as well unfair and
inefficient, the reductionist approach that misled us all as global community, the climate change and sustainability means only
decarbonization, and dealing with the emissions have been misleading.
But we cannot ignore the impact of the decades and actually centuries of mismanagement of the nature endowment's harm to climate and the planet. If
we are not addressing these problems, we are going to be seeing more instability around the world.
What we need really to see this time that we need to shift from the whether and when questions into the how? And the how is all about finance.
ANDERSON (voice over): Finance that is so important for countries like Pakistan, which emits less than one percent of the world's planet warming
gases, but is now faced with a $40 billion bill.
Becky Anderson, CNN, Sharm El-Sheikh.
QUEST: Climate change is front and center at the World Travel Market here in London. Now travel and tourism, depending on the number, it could be
anywhere between eight to nine percent of global emissions.
However, the UN World Tourism Organization, the UNWTO is forecasting that number will increase by 25 percent by 2030. So, I've been speaking to
tourism leaders from around the globe, as they spoke about their climate commitments, giving you their full range of countries.
Saudi Arabia's Minister for Tourism, Ahmed Al Khateeb said sustainability is central to the government's goals. However, of course, Saudi Arabia is
undergoing at the moment a huge expansion in tourism, costing many tens of billions.
The Minister said the efforts are not getting in the way of the country's recovery or sustainability.
AHMED AL KHATEEB, SAUDI ARABIA MINISTER OF TOURISM: Saudi Arabia announced the 100 million visits by 2030. We achieved 62 last year. We will
reach two 70 million this year and we are heading towards delivering our targets.
The global market is recovering, and we are seeing most of the countries are achieving the 2019 number. However, Saudi Arabia achieved the highest
growth among all the G20 countries in terms of recovery from the 2019 levels.
QUEST: COP27 as you know, is underway at the moment.
AL KHATEEB: Yes.
QUEST: How can -- everybody wants to travel. How can we do it sustainably?
AL KHATEEB: It is a very challenging because travel and tourism industry is responsible of about eight percent of the greenhouse emissions globally,
and we want to grow tourism in Saudi Arabia, at the same time, we want to preserve the culture and the nature and the societies and, therefore we
have established the Global Sustainability Center and we are preserving almost 30 percent of the Saudi Arabia land.
And also, we are investing and growing our corals and our reefs in the Red Sea.
QUEST: Everywhere I go in this place, the industry -- everybody is talking about sustainability.
AL KHATEEB: Yes.
QUEST: To the point where I feel like it's almost a buzzword, and I feel like, really, all the industry wants to do is get back to where it was.
Is the commitment real? I don't just mean Saudi. I mean, across the industry, is it real?
AL KHATEEB: It is very challenging, but we are very happy to see sustainability on top of many countries' agenda, especially the leading
countries and prevalent tourism.
Our sector in travel and tourism, we are responsible of some of the green carbon emissions; however, in our sector in Saudi Arabia, we will go to net
zero by 2050.
QUEST: The growth numbers are strong and impressive, but I worry, I worry Minister, that corners will be cut, that sustainability becomes a buzzword,
not a policy, and that the safeguards need to be followed.
AL KHATEEB: We are building new destinations like Neom, Red Sea, Diriyah, Qiddiya, and we are the largest investor in the travel and tourism in the
next 10 years.
We are investing more than $800 billion and therefore we are building sustainability in everything we do, in the building material, in the
energy, and in everything we do to ensure that we don't create any damages to the planet and to the treasures that we have over in the Red Sea or in
QUEST: That's the Minister of Tourism from Saudi Arabia. Later, you'll hear Sri Lanka's tourism sector, which can't take a break.
Economic turmoil, civil unrest on top of a pandemic and the Minister is going to say you should still come to Sri Lanka. I'll be talking to him
after the break.
QUEST: Solid evidence that the recovery in the travel market as Ryanair results offered a reason for optimism. The low-cost airline carried a
record number of passengers over the summer and posted its largest profit for six months through September. The shares were sharply up more than
Globally, the travel industry is still finding its feet. Through July of this year, international arrivals climb nearly 60 percent of the pre-
pandemic levels, but of course, that's a global number, often influenced by what is happening in Asia.
Tourism leaders in London are taking stock and the World Travel Market is one of the industry's biggest gatherings.
Spain is also seeing the benefits of the recovery in European travel. There, tourism is back to 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels and the
Minister for Tourism, Fernando Valdes told me they've focused on improving the visitor experience.
VALDES: We've been investing in the term of destination. For us, really what is important is everything that happens on our destination, not only
QUEST: But what do you mean by destination? Do you mean destination of Spain? Do you mean destination of resort? What do you mean?
VALDES: We mean that in terms of destination, it is the experience. It is not only the resort, it is not only the transport. We are talking about
restaurants, we are talking about how well you know what is going on, on the on the destination.
We are talking all the experience related with the tourist. That for us is quite important, not only accommodation that was the beginning of our
industry. At the beginning it was accommodation, now, it is the whole destination.
QUEST: How can you control destination when actually, of course, it is private operators that are the restaurants, that are the theme parks, that
are the things -- how do you, you know -- what's your role? Is it to facilitate investment? Regulation?
VALDES: All of that. I mean, first, it is governance because when we talk about for us in Spain when we talk about tourism, we are talking about our
main industry, so really, we need a clear governance between public and private sector, and then we talk about investment, not only private,
especially public in terms of infrastructures, in terms of how well we develop a destination to make easier the tourist experience, and that
becomes our priority.
QUEST: Do you suffer from, particularly in the UK or Northern Europe, "Ah, we've been to Spain. We've been going to Spain for as long." now, it
might be a nice weekend in Valencia, or wherever, but we've been to Spain, we want excitement. We want to go further afield.
VALDES: Well, there we are trying to make Spain 365 a year destination and for us, that's key at the moment, because we are well known, as you
mentioned as vacational destination, sand and sea, the Sunny Spain, but we are much more than that.
We are with the Sunny Spain, but we want a tourism round the year. We want them to come all over the year. And that now again is the priority for the
QUEST: You had a good year this year.
VALDES: It is a good year. We have good figures in the summer. We recovered nine out of 10 international tourists that we have in a record
year that was 2019 and we look forward with reasonable optimism to the season of autumn and winter season.
QUEST: Finally, Brexit, the UK, are you seeing -- the pound versus the euro -- are you seeing an effect? Are you worried about that now?
VALDES: Not up to now. In terms of recovery of the British market, British are again after 2020 and 2021, we are again the main market for
Spain, they are.
QUEST: Which explains the huge presence you have here.
VALDES: Yes. It explains how many destinations we have in this World Trade Market. So yes, we are concerned about how Brexit will affect but up
to now, I cannot say that we are very worried about the effects.
QUEST: Of all the countries that have really been hit hard hit by a variety of different ills and poor fortune, Sri Lanka's tourism sector is
amongst those most battered.
Visitor numbers that were off 18 percent in 2019, before the pandemic, which is the year of the Easter Sunday bombings; then during the pandemic,
everything just disappeared, ground to a halt during pandemic.
The country now no longer expects to hit its goal of a million visitors this year, because there have also been political and economic unrest.
You'll remember the pictures, mass protests over soaring inflation, power cuts, food shortages. The country's President and Prime Minister toppled
and now, all restructured.
It is hard to invite people for a honeymoon or boutique or wonderful holiday when you see scenes like this, which is why we have Harin Fernando,
the Sri Lankan Tourism Minister with me.
You've got a hard job, sir.
HARIN FERNANDO, SRI LANKAN TOURISM MINISTER: Well, it's not as hard as I thought. Things are turning out to be very good because Sri Lankans are a
resilient nation. They are working very hard.
The last three months, we have gotten over the chaos, we've gotten the normal tourism to come back. Most of the asset capacities are opening up.
Flights are doubling, tripling from Emirates and Qatar. These are main two airlines that comes into Sri Lanka. Swiss just started on the 10th. KLM-Air
France all flying into Sri Lanka.
QUEST: But it is fascinating that because the scenes we saw earlier were dramatic, but the country has bounced back.
FERNANDO: Well as I said, Sri Lankans -- that's Sri Lankans for you, you know. We are quite --
QUEST: With a smile.
FERNANDO: We are quite, quite resilient. We are just always positive people, I think, we call ourselves the positive police all the time. So we
do it well. We do it right.
We go through a lot of issues, but Sri Lanka as a nation, it always comes back stronger. So, that's what I've realized within three months. I, myself
was on the protest before and I joined this government just because the country came first for me.
QUEST: It is like poacher turned gamekeeper.
FERNANDO: Something like that, I would say.
QUEST: So now, you've got the job. You know, Sri Lanka is one of those tourism industries or bureaus that is very respected, extremely
experienced. You have a mature or a huge tourism market for long haul destinations, a luxury end side. How are you going to rebuild that and the
confidence of it?
FERNANDO: Well, see, the industry is stronger. The hoteliers, that travel agents are quite different, so long time, long histories with them.
So for them, they've gone through Sri Lanka, they have gone through the 30- year Civil War. They've bounced back.
They just keep going back and forth, back and forth. But it was unfortunately, the series of events like you said from 2019.
2018 was our best year and then comes to 2019, the Easter bombing. From thereon was the pandemic, then the political and the financial crisis. But
right now, what we see is Sri Lanka, if we had to come out of this, tourism is one industry that Sri Lanka really needs to put our hands up and really
perform at this moment.
It is a task, but look around the world, everywhere you see issues, everywhere is a mess, so I think Sri Lankans, even though we're in a mess,
we look a little bit better, because we have a very good product to sell.
Sri Lanka as a product has something for everyone in Sri Lanka.
QUEST: So where are you putting your firepower if you will? Is it -- I mean, you get a lot from India and that's almost like a major highway going
up and down, but the heavy spend from Europe, Australasia, that's where you really need to grow as well.
FERNANDO: So we have a short term and long term plan. Short term is jumping into India, getting all the Indians to come into Sri Lanka. At the
moment, because there's a massive middle class in India of over 230 million travelers. You've got lots of brands like Mastercard, people like them
promoting Sri Lanka for the Indian market, as well as the Bangladeshi market. So, that's our short term goal.
But the long term, we're looking at even Europe, when come hit the winter, the gas prices are going to be so high, it is still cheaper to come to Sri
Lanka and have a nice holiday and enjoy in luxury and on the beach and do your work from home.
QUEST: We have brought -- we have done "Business Traveler" from Sri Lanka. We will be back there to do QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Sir, I am very grateful to you. Thank you very much for the visit. Thank you.
The World Cup is nearly upon us and Qatar hopes hosting the event will boost its international image and the tourism sector.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Qatar is a modern city and the World Cup obviously will help us to change some of those misconceptions that people will go
like, "Wow, those football stadiums are better than what I have in my home country. "
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: U.S. markets are bracing themselves for Tuesday's midterms. It's an interesting reason why. This is the Dow and how it's doing in the final
hour of trading. Well, I think just that the best of the day. So here's the perversion of it. Investors appear to anticipate big gains by the
Republican Party and that leads to gridlock. All right. So, nobody doing anything is seen as a positive because it will curb your spending.
And that benefits interest rates and confidence to pass midterms, generally lead to periods of strong market performance. Matt Egan is here. You got to
admit the weirdness of that, isn't it? That basically saying, if we get to a position where no one can do anything, that's what we want?
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: That's why they call it gridlock is good. I mean, the idea is that if you have divided government that means the government
can't mess things up in the economy. I think in this case, the thinking is that gridlock means you can't have unfunded tax cuts by the Republicans or
unfunded spending plans by the democrats. And, you know, both of those would be inflationary. But neither would really be possible if you have
Now, history shows, markets tend to do just fine when democrats have the White House, but not full control of Congress since 1944. The two best
political scenarios are when democrats are in the White House. But republicans either have total control of congress or when republicans have
a split control of Congress. There you see that 13.6 percent since 1944 in that last scenario. Now, we should note that's a small sample size, so we
can't read too much into it.
But it does support that gridlock is good theory. Also, we had the world's richest man seemingly out there supporting this gridlock idea. Elon Musk
tweeting today, "Shared power curves the worst excesses of both parties." Therefore, I recommend voting for a republican congress, given that the
presidency is democrat. Never mind that, of course, Elon Musk has previously said he thinks that Twitter should remain politically neutral to
keep the public's trust. I do think he's echoing this gridlock is good sentiment.
QUEST: And that's exactly what he's doing. I do question -- I mean, he certainly has a perfect right to do it and he can perhaps do. Since he's
fired the board of directors and since there's no independent oversight of him, we have to -- we will be right to assume that therefore what his view
is Twitter's view.
EGAN: That's right. And that's a big deal because Twitter is one of the most influential social media platforms out there. The 2016, 2020
elections, they showed how the social media world and the risk of misinformation and disinformation can have real tangible political
implications there. You know, I do think, though, that we should push back a little bit on the gridlock is good idea. That's not always the case.
I mean, one issue here is that Republicans have threatened to have a debt ceiling fight. They've said that, you know, they will use that as a
gambling chip to try to get spending cuts out of democrats. And we know that a default would be terrible with spark a financial crisis. So we don't
want to see another debt ceiling fight. And that is something that could happen in gridlock.
The other point, I don't think this is getting enough attention is we are worried about a recession in the next year or so. And if there is gridlock,
you have to wonder whether or not that limits Washington's ability to respond to a recession. We know the Federal Reserve is not going to be able
to slash interest rates to zero if inflation is high and the economy's in recession.
And gridlock may mean that congress and the administration won't be able to do that much either.
QUEST: Well, a mess to quit my last guest. Right. Thank you. Matt Egan with us. We'll watch tomorrow for the markets.
Qatar is planning for a tourism boom, of course, a million and a half visitors on the back of hosting the FIFA World Cup which starts in less
than two weeks. It's taken 12 years to get this far. And the host nations faced intense criticism over its buildings and its human rights record.
But I asked Qatar's Tourism chief operating officer Berthold Trenkel if the country -- I mean, the only one question, are you ready for the World Cup?
BERTHOLD TRENKEL, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, QATAR TOURISM: We're ready. I always keep telling people it's been 12 years since Qatar was awarded the
FIFA World Cup. Obviously the eight stadiums ready, all stadiums have played matches. So they're matched ready so to speak.
Infrastructure, the Metro actually opened in 2019. The highways all done. The major beautification of Doha downtown with the cornice done. A lot of
hotels and construction, most of them opening or like you said, putting on call it a final touch or touch up to be also open, many of them already
hosting FIFA officials and teams are arriving this week.
QUEST: What's your biggest worry though now?
QUEST: Biggest concern.
TRENKEL: Biggest concern? I think it's just the sheer number of people is something new for a country of the size of Qatar. We have three million
inhabitants. And at the peak, we'll have probably 200, 250,000 people and a single time in country. So that is a lot of people and everyone is here for
one sole reason. FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
QUEST: I mean, if these eight stadiums are not supposed to be white elephants.
QUEST: You're going to have to find purpose for them.
QUEST: For all those hotels.
QUEST: And Qatar whilst a growing tourism industry needs a lot more people.
TRENKEL: That's correct. So that's our job. We've -- before the pandemic, so 2019, we had about 2.1 million international visitors. We want to grow
this to six to seven million by 2030. So that means really reactivating now the region. And Saudi today makes about 33 percent of our visitors. But
bringing back Europe, bringing back the Americans and specifically also growing Asia, Indian subcontinent and everyone is looking for the Chinese
tourist, which still until today, unfortunately has to stay mostly at home.
QUEST: This Qatar risk being sort of in the sandwich in a sense that on the one hand, you've got Dubai with all its excess and all its golden glitz. On
the other hand, you've got Saudi and Jordan, which have similar sort of proposition. Where do you fit between those two opposites?
TRENKEL: I think their market is big enough. And it's not that you have to win at the expense of others. It's about growing actually the market of
tourists coming to the Middle East. There's still a lot of misconceptions. And every destination, the Middle East is suffering from it. Whether it'd
be safety. And on the contrary, Qatar is the safest country on the planet. Qatar is a modern city and the World Cup obviously will help us to change
some of those misconceptions that people will go like, wow, those football stadiums are better than what I have in my home country.
Same goes we talked about the infrastructure. So some of those misconceptions we will address during the World Cup.
QUEST: That's the minister from -- the tourism authority from Qatar. Now as world leaders meeting in Egypt to discuss the climate future, the country's
past is going to be put on new display. The Grand Egyptian Museum, the GEM will open next year. And (INAUDIBLE) says it will be the largest
archaeological museum in the world. You'll hear it tonight. It's something the Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa is particularly proud of. He is a former
banking executive, a top CEO in banking. So why did he decide to become tourism and antiquities minister?
AHMED ISSA, EGYPTIAN TOURISM MINISTER: I feel so proud and privileged actually to be able to serve my country in this way. Egypt has always felt
that it deserves 30 million tourists and the challenge that has been given to me as a problem solver all my -- all my career is try to figure out what
to -- what to do with and what needs to be done. And it turns out that it's not a problem with demand that -- it's with the supply.
And now actually, we've developed plans, we've developed key highlights of actually what we want to do to try to fix the supply side.
QUEST: OK. As a banker, who -- in the private sector, your life is ruled by getting things done and results. Are you prepared fully for the bureaucracy
of government, particularly with tourism that they'll be a million and one, there'll be other cabinet ministers who may be more powerful, who will say
no, you can't have that road. Or another one say no, you can't spend there, or no, that's my area.
ISSA: Well, the political will actually in Egypt across the entire government and across the leadership and the government actually, that we
want to get to 30 million. And I assure you that actually, every single colleague of mine on the cabinet is committed to the same objective.
QUEST: But to get to 30 million would also involve the most enormous spend on infrastructure, airports, roads and all -- hotels. All the things
ISSA: And that's exactly what Egypt has been doing over the past five to six.
You know, if you look at the record of public spending in Egypt over the -- since 2015, '16, there's like no other in the history of Egypt. On roads,
on bridges, on hospitals , on airports and on aviation and hotels, and at the same time and fixing the regulatory bodies around the country. So, I
think Egypt has done most of that spending. And the time now is for Egypt to present itself in a different way to the tourist world.
QUEST: I recognize you're relatively new in post in terms of the, you know, what the project is. But if you had to define the tourists that you are
looking for in the future, what would it be?
ISSA: So, our work has already been done on that. And Egypt has went around the world asking tourists if you were -- if you are aware, interested. And
if they are -- if you actually do come to Egypt given its current value proposition, would you enjoy it or not? Would you enjoy? Mr. Quest actually
enjoys it? And the answer is actually, that we found that there are five behavioral segments around the world that would actually say yes to all of
They are aware, they are interested and if they do come, they're going to go back home and enjoy and recommend Egypt.
QUEST: Look around you. Every one of these destinations is saying the same thing.
ISSA: Yes. But the value proposition actually is all about competitive advantage. And we believe that we actually have offering on the ground that
is unmatched by any other competitor. And especially in the culture of tourism. In look (INAUDIBLE) the pyramids, the Sphinx, the availability of
the Sundays and sunny days in Egypt. And at the same time, the people. You know, it's just walking around the streets of Cairo and Khan el-Khalili and
I think it's like no other. And I've toured the world. I've been to every major city in the world, and I wouldn't live anywhere else but Cairo.
QUEST: Prospect of rice pudding in el-Khalili. Signed me up for it with a lamb chop as well. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Our tourism look
tonight. I'll be back with the top of the hour. We together, you and I will make a dash for the closing bell. And as you've seen, the numbers are very
strong on Wall Street today. We could end up at the best of the -- just about maybe the best today. Connecting Africa is next.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. It's the dash to the closing bell. Less than a minute to go. I'll just show you the closing numbers as they look on Wall
Street. The Dow is up 427. Pretty much the best of the day. Triple stack also shows good gains and it's only -- and of course on Tuesday the midterm
elections for the House and the senate.
That's all begins our coverage of that in 24 hours from now. Otherwise, the market is closing. The Dow is ringing. Whatever you're up to in the hours
ahead, I hope it's profitable. "THE LEAD" is next.