Tourism in Egypt witnessed a boom in 2018 becoming the fastest growing in North Africa with a growth rate of 16.5%, well above the global average growth of only 3.9%, the Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat stated.
The minister’s remarks came during her visit to Switzerland to participate in a roundtable named “Financing the tourism industry from international institutions, to achieve 2030 agenda goals,” as part of the activities held for the World Trade Organization (WTO) initiative named “Aid for trade,” during the period from 3 to 5 July in Geneva, Switzerland.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of modernising the tourism legislation regulating the work of the tourism sector in order to cope with the changes in the tourism industry worldwide, such as digital transformation, electronic booking, etc.
She highlighted that the legislative reform axis is one of the five main axes of the structural reform programme to develop the tourism sector, which was adopted by the ministry of tourism since last November.
During her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of increasing the funding and support of international tourism institutions in the 2030 agenda due to the importance of the tourism sector in countries’ economies.
She shared that growth in the tourism sector is surpassing the growth rates of the world economy, explaining that the growth in tourism globally reached 3.9%, while the global GDP growth is only 3.2%.
“However, sector financing from global funding institutions is still very weak, the value of targeted flows to support the tourism sector amounted to only 0.4% of the total value of aid flows for trade during 2017,” Al-Mashat continued.
Furthermore, the minister explained why she called for increasing the funding and support for tourism in the 2030 agenda, stating that the industry is important in the economies of countries and contributes to the achievement of the United Nations goals of sustainable development–which aim to improve societies and achieve a better life for countries worldwide.
She added that as global discourse is now moving toward protective measures and trade policies, the tourism sector is a way to overcome these policies, as travel and the movement of individuals between countries contributes to the exchange of cultures and the spread of peace and understanding among peoples.
In addition, the minister also presented the latest developments on the world tourism movement in 2018, which contributed $8.8tn, equivalent to 10% of the world economy, representing 30% of export services, in addition to creating 319m jobs, equivalent to 1/10 of the total opportunities.
Moreover, the minister declared that the number of tourists increased worldwide by 6%.