Mohammed Al Muhairi, undersecretary for tourism at the UAE Ministry of Economy and chairperson of the Middle East committee of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), said that the tourism sector now accounts for 10% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
He added that the tourism sector accounts for 11% of the world’s total labour market.
Al Muhairi pointed out that the contribution of tourism in the Middle East amounted to about 8.9% of the region’s GDP, worth $224bn, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Meanwhile, the WTTC showed in its report in 2018 that the tourism sector accounts for 7.4% of the total labour market in the region, equivalent to about 5.5m jobs, Al Muhairi said.
With regard to Egypt, the WTTC stated in a report issued earlier in 2018, that the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was EGP 374.6bn ($21.1bn), 11.0% of GDP in 2017, and it forecasted it to rise to 11.1% of GDP in 2028.
“In 2017, the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 8.5% of total employment (2.4255m jobs). This is expected to rise by 2.3% to 3.199m jobs in 2028 (8.9% of total),” according to the WTTC.
On Monday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the UNWTO, in the presence of Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat.
According to presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady, the president said the tourism sector is at the top of Egypt’s priorities, because it is one of the main pillars of the Egyptian economy and identity in general.
Al-Sisi highlighted the importance of the UNWTO’s role in support of tourism worldwide.
The president stressed Egypt’s keenness to host a large number of future events organised by the UNWTO, pointing out that Egypt hosted the meeting of the 44th UNWTO Commission for the Middle East, a subsidiary of the parent organisation, on 8-9 May.
“This reflects the trust of the international community towards Egypt,” the president asserted.