By Hassan El-Khawaga
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23 (SEE) – Tourism Minister Rania El Mashat said on Tuesday the Egyptian tourism sector achieved a growth rate of 40 percent in 2017 and increased by 40 percent in 2018 also.
Speaking to Al Arabiya TV channel on the sidelines of her participation in World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, Mashat pointed out that the Tourism Ministry finished its plan for comprehensive structural reform to develop the tourism sector, adding that there is a strong political will to support this sector which represents 20 percent of Egypt’s GDP.
“The Egyptian political leadership pays great attention to tourism as it offers several job opportunities and feeds more than 70 industries, therefore the ministry had developed a reform program,” the minister stated.
She stressed that the structural reform program had been developed in collaboration with the private sector, global tour operators, and parliamentarians.
She also underscored that the tourism sector’s employment multiplier is (1:4), as each one direct job opportunity creates four indirect ones.
“Egypt is a promising market for new hotels,” she noted, saying that the government allowed the private sector to set up hotels in the Red Sea islands, a matter which lure more foreign investments.
While answering a question regarding the nationalities of tourists visiting Egypt, Mashat expounded that 55 percent of tourists are from Europe and 20 percent are from the Middle East region topped by the Gulf area. She expressed that she has a great interest in diversity of tourists’ nationalities, not to depend on specific countries.
“The ministry is looking forward to attracting more tourists from the Asian market through non-traditional ways in the promotion,” Mashat pointed out.
Regarding the recent investments in the sector, the minister said that Thomas Cook tour operator has developed partnerships with a number of hotels in Hurghada, adding that Egypt has a strong tendency to diversity of nationalities of investors in the tourism field.