Egypt's Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said that the ministry is keen on strengthening the cooperation relations with international institutions including the World Bank.
Al-Mashat's remarks came in her expanded meeting with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank Group during her current visit to the United States.
The meeting was attended by Hans Peter Lankes, IFC's Vice President of Economics and Private Sector Development, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Vice President of Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions at the World Bank Group, and Sérgio Pimenta, IFC's Vice President for the Middle East and Africa.
According to a statement by the Tourism Ministry, they discussed during the meeting the aspects of enhancing cooperation between the ministry and the IFC in the coming period.
The meeting was moderated by IFC chief operating officer Stephanie von Friedberg.
Al-Mashat stated that the ministry has developed the concept of sustainable tourism in its three environmental, social and economic fields as a central pillar of the structural reform program for the development of the sector.
She pointed out that the ministry also prioritizes the development of green tourism and encouraging hotels and tourist facilities to use clean and renewable energy to save energy and preserve the environment.
The minister also referred to the green tourism standards that have been set for the hotels to be awarded the "Green Star" certificate in a way that suits the nature of Egyptian hotel sector, which has been internationally recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Al-Mashat said that the ministry is currently finalizing the update of the classification standards of Egyptian hotels to keep pace with the international standards, which will contribute significantly to improving the quality of the Egyptian tourism product and put Egypt in a competitive position on the world tourism map.
From their part, the IFC and World Bank Group officials reviewed the role of their institutions in promoting sustainable projects in the developing countries members of their institutions.
They discussed providing development solutions, financial resources, technical expertise, global experience and innovative ideas to help its partners overcome financial and operational challenges.
They also expressed their readiness to cooperate with the Egyptian tourism sector in a number of fields including technical support for the hotel development fund, stating that there will be a working group from the two institutions to practically look at the aspects of cooperation with the ministry during the coming period.
The officials of the two international institutions also participated in a panel discussion organized by the IFC in which Al-Mashat talked about the structural reform program to develop the tourism sector in Egypt and the importance of the tourism sector and its contribution to the global economy and job creation.