World Travel and Tourism Council granted a Global Champion Award to Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat for Egypt’s efforts to promote tourism resilience, WTTC announced on Thursday.
This came during the 2019 Global Summit held in Seville, Spain between April 2 and 4. This annual award is granted as an appreciation of the efforts exerted by some countries in facing challenges, the WTTC said, adding that this is the first time for a country or a minister in the Middle East to be granted such award.
In a report, the WTTC said that the tourism sector in Egypt under Mashat managed to recover, as in 2018, the number of tourists has increased by 16.5 percent, which is higher than the global average of (3.9 percent).
This recovery comes as a result of the state’s efforts to improve the local security situation, which helped attract tourists and big tourism companies to the prominent tourist attractions in Egypt, and increase their business in new tourist developments on the coasts of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
For her part, the Egyptian minister said that the ministry is adopting a new trend, adding that it has launched a structural reform program to modernize the tourism sector and achieve sustainable tourism development.
She added that the implementation of such structural reforms aims at boosting the competitiveness capacity of the sector, and turning the challenges it sometimes faces into opportunities the country can benefit from in making the sector more robust and resistant to shocks.
Mashat expressed appreciation of the Global Champion Award granted by the WTTC, adding that the main goal of the ministry is to enable at least one member of each Egyptian family to work in the sector, in a direct or indirect way.
The minister stressed the support of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for the structural reform program launched by the ministry, pointing out that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently granted the Egyptian leader the organization’s shield in appreciation of his active role in supporting the tourism industry.
Gloria Guevara, president and CEO World Travel and Tourism Council, said that Mashat and Egypt “have shown what it means to truly prioritize the recovery of travel & tourism following a period of crisis. She has recognized the power of our sector as a driver of economic growth, job creation and social advancement across the whole country,” the WTTC reported.