The topics before the World Tourism Organization are “Promoting Ecotourism as a Poverty Reduction Strategy” and “Exploitation of Children in Tourism”. The World Trade Organization primary responsibilities are promoting and developing sustainable tourism to contribute to economic development and sustainability of the environment. The Arab Republic of Egypt is an active founding member of UNWTO since 1975 and since then Egypt has upheld the vision and objectives of the UNWTO as its own.
1. Promoting Ecotourism as a Poverty Reduction Strategy
Eco-tourism without a doubt is the most sustainable and responsible way to travel, it involves minimizing any direct or indirect impact on the local environment, people and culture before during or after the visit. It provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet. By expanding capacity building openings, ecotourism is additionally a powerful vehicle for engaging local communities far and wide to battle against poverty and to accomplish sustainable development.
In 2016 tourism accounted for a total of USD 19.4 Billion FK1 to the GDP of Egypt, it is expected to grow up to USD 15.3 Billion in 2017. It is clearly a major component of the economy and the Egyptian Tourism Ministry has made it clear that eco-tourism is the only way forward. In the Arab Republic of Egypt, the tourism sector directly created 773,000 and 1,763,000 jobs FK2 in total in the fiscal year of 2016, it has also contributed to 7.2% FK3 of the GDP. This figure has largely alleviated the unemployment and poverty gap of Egypt and has improved the financial situation of millions. It has helped unlock opportunities for pro-poor economic growth by providing formal and informal employment to the local people
Furthermore, Egypt has also been a key player in the development of eco-tourism in Africa and has also been a major supporter of various United Nations Resolutions on Eco-Tourism and Poverty Eradication (A/RES/69/233 and A/RES/71/240)FK4 . In reports by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization on the promotion of ecotourism for poverty in 2014 and 2016, it was found that Egypt among other countries has launched new national or regional tourism development strategies or revised existing frameworks in order to enhance sustainability while responding to changing global economic, sociocultural and environmental conditions. The Arab Republic has established 21 protected areas, and foreign donors, including the European Union, have contributed large amounts of capital to develop them on behalf of future generations of Egyptians; some of these protected areas are St. Katherine Protected Area, Ras Mohamed National Park, and the Wadi Rayan protectorate.
The Arab Republic of Egypt calls upon members of UNWTO to move forward and take steps to further alleviate the poverty gap with the help of eco-tourism and reform the General Assembly Resolutions named above; to ensure that member countries are strict in upholding their respective eco-tourism policies and willing to do whatever it takes to make poverty a thing of the past.