During the opening session of Day 2 of Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Global Stage, panelists stressed the importance of collaboration between governments and the private sector, domestically and internationally, to ensure that travel and tourism rebound to boost economic recovery across the Middle East.
The session began with an interview with Ghada Shalaby, vice minister of tourism and antiquities for the Arab Republic of Egypt, who explained how collaboration between ministries during the pandemic has resulted in a formula for other countries to follow to ensure destinations — and their visitors — have the best possible experience.
With tourism traditionally generating more than 15 percent of Egypt’s GDP and the country targeting between 6 and 7 million visitors in 2021, the road to recovery of the travel and tourism sector in Egypt is well underway, with tourism and health ministries working in tandem to ensure the health and safety of both visitors and residents.
Shalaby was joined by fellow panelists from the private sector, including: Clive Bourke, president, DAON, EMEA and APAC; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, cofounder, AfroChampions; Kashif Khaled, regional director Airport Passenger Cargo Security & Facilitation Africa & the Middle East, IATA; Stephanie Boyle, head of industry and partner communications, Skyscanner; and Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, managing director, Amadeus Gulf.
Also speaking about the importance of sector collaboration to improve traveler confidence, Scott Hume, senior vice president, operations at Global Rescue, said: “There needs to be significant industry and international governmental collaboration to solve information gathering and distribution efforts across the globe to get travel started. On a national level, everyone is well aware of the complexities of the systems that need to be brought online to make travel easier and safer. However, we also need to address the issue of what happens when travelers get to their destination and how nations can instill a sense of confidence in travelers’ minds.”