Egypt's tourism minister discusses status of the tourism sector with World Economic Forum official

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Jul 2019

Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat and Deputy Head for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs of the WEF
Minister of Tourism Dr. Rania Al-Mashat and Deputy Head for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs of the WEF Marik Dusik during their meeting in Geneva on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Tourism Ministry)

Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Dr. Rania Al-Mashat discussed with Deputy Head for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Marik Dusik the agenda of the World Economic Forum Davos 2020, a statement by the tourism ministry on Thursday read.

Al-Mashat and Dusik discussed the importance of adding the topic of tourism worldwide and in Egypt in particular in the Forum’s future agenda especially as it will coincide with the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum by the end of 2020, the statement explained.

The meeting concludes Al-Mashat’s visit to Switzerland where she participated in a panel discussion entitled "Tourism financing for the 2030 Agenda" as part of the global review of "Aid for Trade" initiative for 2019, which is organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in cooperation with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held from 3 to 5 July in Geneva.

The two officials also discussed Al-Mashat’s participation in "The Impact of Sustainable Development Goals in the Global Economy Forum", which will be held during the WEF meetings scheduled to take place in New York in September.

In this regard, Al-Mashat stressed that the Ministry of Tourism adopts the UN concepts of sustainable development through the ministry’s structural reform program aimed at developing the tourism sector.

The minister explained that each of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the UN is directly linked to the tourism sector and that investment in the tourism sector must be carried out in the context of preserving the environmental and cultural heritage.

As for the status of the tourism sector as the main focus of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum Davos, she emphasized on the importance of tourism in the economies of countries.

"The world tourism movement in 2018, which was valued at $8.8 trillion, representing 10 percent of the world economy and 30 percent of export services," said Al-Mashat, adding that tourism has also created 319 million jobs, equivalent to a tenth of the total opportunities worldwide, while the number of tourists has increased 6 percent internationally.

Regarding the importance of the tourism sector status in Egypt as a focal point of Davos 2020 Forum, Al-Mashat pointed to a report issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on Egyptian tourism which showed that it witnessed a huge boom and recovery in 2018.

She said that the report stated that Egypt became the fastest growing country in North Africa with a growth rate of 16.5 in the tourism industry, much higher than the average global growth of 3.9%.

Al-Mashat added that this growth rate coincides with the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be a huge cultural monument and the largest museum in the world dedicated to one particular civilization.

She also pointed to the great interest the museum is receiving worldwide considering its opening, by the end of 2020, as one of the main themes for the campaign to promote Egypt abroad.

Meanwhile, the minister highlighted the importance of women's participation in the labor force as an addition to the national economy.

She pointed to the ministry's interest in increasing the number of female workers in the sector and the ministry's cooperation with the private sector in this regard, especially in the field of training, by implementing the "Gender Equality Seal".

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