Tourism in Egypt will only get stronger: Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt's Tourim Minister

Tourism in Egypt will only get stronger: Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt's Tourim Minister
One of the causes dear to Dr Rania Al-Mashat is women empowerment and she and the tourism ministry has been making great strides there
Published: 8 December 2019 - 7 a.m.
By: Priyanka Praveen
Egypt’s tourism has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but the country’s tourism minister Dr Rania Al-Mashat believes that it is bound to only get stronger and will soon “get the recognition it deserves”.

Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Middle East, Al-Mashat spoke about localisation of jobs and how she’s pushing for women to take up more roles in the industry and what she feels about bringing about these huge changes in the country.

Challenges of being Egypt’s tourism minister
Al-Mashat has been instrumental in changing the face of tourism in Egypt but the job hasn’t been an easy one. “I feel that it’s been a very tedious and challenging job, but hard work has paid off. I’m very happy that I have been able to show that Economics is a discipline that can be applied on any sector and show positive results. I’m a specialist in designing policy frameworks and economic programmes in countries, and applying Macro ideas on a Micro sector has been an experiment that could be generalised not just on other sectors in Egypt but also on the tourism sector in other countries,” she explained.

Not only is she the youngest person to take up the mantel of the tourism minister but is also the first woman to do so. Talking about the challenges of breaking ground in a male-dominates field she said: “I am very proud to be the first woman to lead a very male dominated sector which is the tourism sector in Egypt, and by the way it’s not just male dominated in Egypt, but actually globally. So that opens the door for other women to be able to take up such roles.

“It is very gratifying to enjoy the responses from the people themselves, those who have seen higher employment rates, companies that have seen increase booking rates, hotels that have seen more occupancy rates. All of this is very good for the Egyptian economy and the Egyptian people. This just proves that if you work with a focused plan through consensus across stakeholders, and with a lot of determination and political will results can be monumental,” she added.

[[{"fid":"76648","view_mode":"preview","fields":{"format":"preview","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":507,"width":760,"class":"media-element file-preview"}}]]

Women empowerment
One of the causes dear to Dr Rania Al-Mashat is women empowerment and she and the tourism ministry has been making great strides there.

Talking about how the ministry is working on achieving this she said: “The 5th Pillar of Reform in the Egypt – Tourism Reform Programme (E—TRP) is International Trends and there is a pillar on Women Empowerment. Most recently we are encouraging companies through the launch of the UNDP General Equality Seal in collaboration with the National Council for Women and the United Nations Development Programme to support a more efficient and equitable workplace, contributing to the advancement of gender equality. Egypt was the first in the world to introduce this seal in tourism,” she explained.

In addition to that, Egypt’s government has also launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”. Al Mashat explained, “We launched this with the World Economic Forum in Egypt which aims to increase the number of women in the labour market whether in the private or public sector, promote more women into economic leadership positions, close wage gaps and ensure that women have the skills demanded by the future of work and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Participation of women today, is ‘Macro-Critical’.”

[[{"fid":"76647","view_mode":"preview","fields":{"format":"preview","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":507,"width":760,"class":"media-element file-preview"}}]]

Localisation of jobs
Like countries in the Middle East, Rania too believes in empowering the locals in tourism through training and development. She said: “Egypt is a nation of a 100 million people who have been accustomed to tourism and hospitality. Our campaign #PeopleToPeople sheds light on the Egyptian people as people of pride, positivity, productivity and potential and we just see that by increasing capacity development and training, more Egyptians will be better equipped to efficiently work in the sector.”

Click here to add your comment

Please add your comment below
Name
Country
Email
Your email address will not be published
Captcha