Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat, left, during her participation in the World Travel and Tourism Council's panel discussion held in London on Monday (Photo courtesy of Tourism Ministry)
Egypt's travel and tourism sector has proven to be resilient, growing 16.5 percent in 2018, the World Travel and Tourism Council said in a recent report.
The council, which represents the global travel private sector, covered Egypt in a report about the impact of 90 crises between 2001 and 2018 at a national and city level.
The report, published on Monday and announced by Egypt's tourism ministry on Wednesday, said that the travel and tourism sector is more resilient than ever, as average recovery times have decreased from 26 months in 2001 to 10 months in 2018.
The report said that this followed "continued safety improvements across the country as well as in key destinations such as Sharm El-Sheikh, which in turn have helped entice international tourists to return."
Several countries had banned direct flights to the Red Sea resort city following a Russian plane crash in 2015 minutes after takeoff from Sharm El-Sheikh airport, which killed all 224 people on board. Many countries later resumed air traffic, the latest of which was the UK last month.
The report suggests that political instability proved the most challenging crisis to overcome for the industry, with average recovery times of around two years, or at least 10 months.
Terrorist or security related incidents have the shortest average recovery time of 11.5 months, and a minimum of two months. Other challenges include disease or outbreaks and natural disasters, the report added.
The impact of such challenges are "strikingly significant." In Egypt, turmoil caused by the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak cost the country $16 billion in lost visitor spending, the report reveals.
"While there is still work to be done, the data shows that recovery times have fallen significantly over the past two decades, and that major strides have been made. It is crucial that we continue to learn from previous incidents and continue to come together through public and private partnerships to make a real difference in reducing both the economic and human cost," said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC.
Guevara hosted a panel discussion on Monday to reveal the research findings of the report entitled “Crisis Readiness: Are You Prepared and Risk Resilient to Safeguard Your People and Destinations?” which was attended by Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat
Egypt's vital tourism industry has recently shown signs of recovery from years of political turmoil unleashed by the 2011 uprising.
The country made its biggest ever tourism revenues of $12.6 billion in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, according to Al-Mashat.