Khartoum (Al-Hidai Ahmed) — Nearly 1000 Travel and Tourism Agencies (TAA) are conducting businesses in Khartoum
(the national capital). However, only handful of them operates in real tourism activities. The bulk of them conduct activities in ticketing, visa services and regrouping of pilgrims to the holy land.
Chief of Travel & Tourism Agencies Association Ms. Muna Mohamed Abd Allah - highlights that a number of constraints hampered agencies from conducting proper tourism businesses. She summarizes these constraints in the fact that public and economic planners are lacking concept on tourism as real industry. Despite her criticism Abd Allah acknowledges there are good signs of government response to reconsider introduction of procedures that cope with the requirements of international tourism industry. On this regard she cited ministry of foreign affairs and ministry of interior. In addition she also appreciates presidential adviser Awad Al Jaz's efforts resulting in facilitation of contacts with Russian and Chinese tourist companies. A Chinese media team composed of seven members and a group of Russian tourism companies arrived last January in Khartoum whilst Bulgarian T.V team arrived on 20th of February, she said. Those teams arrived to get acquainted with Sudan's tourist attraction sites.
Abd Allah believes that lifting U.S sanctions have encouraged international tourism companies from Germany, Britain, Spain Italy, China and Russia to reconsider cooperation with Sudan.
Red sea state government in particular, according to Abd Allah, has taken the initiative of supporting private tourism agencies' promotional campaigns abroad.
The International companies are feeling relaxed for dealing with Sudan based on the fact banking transaction from now on could be conducted smoothly after lifting of sanctions, as Abd Allah maintains. She said those companies have started talking that Sudan is peaceful and safe place for international investment. In spite of the fact that only handful tourism agencies engaged in tourism activities they managed to achieve considerable success.