Egypt's Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat met on Tuesday with head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission in Egypt Subir Lall to discuss the country's efforts to develop the tourism sector as part of its structural reform programme.
El-Mashat told the head of the IMF mission and an accompanying delegation that Egypt's political leadership has been keen to support the tourism sector.
During the meeting, the minister spoke about the economic development Egypt has achieved in all sectors.
The minister said that the political leadership is approaching the tourism sector from an economic perspective.
El-Mashat said that structural reform is difficult and takes a long time to achieve, but ultimately puts countries on a sustainable path of development and eliminates obstacles that any sector may face.
The minister said Egypt's structural reform programme focuses on achieving sustainable tourism development in line with the goals of sustainable development adopted by the United Nations.
The minister stressed the importance of the tourism sector in the economic growth of countries as one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world economy, accounting for 30 percent of service exports.
El-Mashat said that the tourism sector accounts for 20 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product and employs 3 million people.
The minister noted the remarkable rise in the number of tourists coming to Egypt in 2019 and 2018, pointing out that the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has given President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi the organisation's shield in recognition of his effective support of tourism through the launch of the structural reform programme to develop the tourism sector.
She explained that the ministry is now targeting several international partnerships such as cooperation with CNN International and Beautiful Destination to promote Egypt in an innovative way through its digital platforms on social networking sites.
The minister also said that the under construction Grand Egyptian Museum will present a great opportunity to diversify tourism programmes and bolster cultural tourism.
The IMF mission praised the economic reform measures witnessed in Egypt in recent years as well as the structural reform programme reviewed by the minister.