The Egyptian Tourism Ministry signed on Wednesday a protocol of cooperation with the Ministry of Education aiming to spread awareness about interacting respectfully with foreigners and promote tolerance and an appreciation for the tourism sector from an early age through school curricula in Egypt, the Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat said.
The protocol, signed by Mashat and Minister of Education Tarek Shawky is considered the first of its kind and aims to ensure that future generations are conscious of the vital role of the tourism sector in boosting the Egyptian economy and improving the image of Egyptian tourist destinations locally and internationally.
The protocol reflects the ministry’s keenness to raise awareness regarding the importance of the tourism sector and tourism ethics among future generations, Mashat said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agreement also hopes to raise awareness regarding poor treatment of tourists and foreigners and instill the values of acceptance and respect for others beginning at an early age, Mashat said, adding that the protocol would enhance the competitiveness of the tourism market and link educational curricula with the needs of the labor market.
“This protocol will contribute to motivating students to learn more about the field of tourism and create a passion for them later to work in this sector, which is in line with the broader objective of the structural reform program launched by the Tourism Ministry,” the statement read.
Mashat explained that the protocol is in line with the fourth objective of the 17 sustainable development goals set by the Tourism Ministry. The fourth objective is based on ensuring high quality, all-inclusive and comprehensive education that produces a workforce equipped to meet the changing needs of the labor market.
For his part, Shawky said that the ministry will translate the signed protocol into material that will be included in the curricula taught at schools, which should help to increase the flow of tourists from around the world to Egypt, in addition to preparing future generations to promote the tourism industry in Egypt.
The Education Ministry will work to incorporate tourism ethics in school curricula as well as engaging activities and competitions for students, according to Shawky. He added that the ministry plans to establish applied technology schools in cooperation with the private sector specialized in the field of hotel education, hospitality, and tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism will also work with the private sector to sponsor competitions involving school students, according to the protocol.
Mashat added that Egypt was among the countries that signed the Global Charter on Tourism Ethics in 2014, which was approved by the 22nd General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization in China in 2017. Tourism ethics represents the main reference frame for sustainable and responsible tourism. The application of tourism ethics aims to bolster the tourism sector and is designed to guide policymakers and industry leaders in tourism development.
She pointed out that the tourism sector represents 15 percent of the country’s GDP, adding that the ministry, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization, hopes to bolster the sector by spreading awareness about the importance of treating foreigners with respect and ensuring that future generations understand the significance of the tourism industry in Egypt.