New Woman Minister of Tourism

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newcastle
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New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:25 pm

A sign of decreasing misogyny ....or desperation?


Advisor to the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Rania Al-Mashat has replaced Minister of Tourism Yahia Rashid. In 2015, Mashat was chosen among the top 50 Most Influential Women in the Egyptian Economy. She joined the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) at the age of 30, and a few years later, in 2012, became the youngest subgovernor in CBE’s history.

https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/40 ... -reshuffle

She can hardly do any worse than Rashid....so good luck to her!

Maybe it's time for an economist, as Rania is, to take a good hard look at tourism which is - or used to be - a key element of Egypt's economy.



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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by A-Four » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:38 pm

newcastle wrote:, Mashat was chosen among the top 50 Most Influential Women in the Egyptian Economy..
I love statements like this,.......so we can assume this lady is not in the top ten, or top twenty for that matter, so let's leave it at between thirty and fifty, and let's hope we are not getting near the late forties.

This person is certainly far down the ladder from Butrus-Gali. If the Egyptian government were serious about bringing a Egyptian woman with outstanding qualifications then they need look no further than Mss Nermat Shafik, but then again this dear lady is no fool

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by Major Thom » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:21 am

Now brains have been introduced things may pick up? Unless its Nepotism....

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:22 am

A-Four wrote:
newcastle wrote:, Mashat was chosen among the top 50 Most Influential Women in the Egyptian Economy..
I love statements like this,.......so we can assume this lady is not in the top ten, or top twenty for that matter, so let's leave it at between thirty and fifty, and let's hope we are not getting near the late forties.

This person is certainly far down the ladder from Butrus-Gali.

But at least she resides in Egypt and hasn't been, like Boutros-Ghali, convicted of corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia. He fled Egypt in 2011. I dare say he was "influential" in the Egyptian Economy....although perhaps not in the way one should praise :lol:


If the Egyptian government were serious about bringing a Egyptian woman with outstanding qualifications then they need look no further than Mss Nermat Shafik,

I'm sure a former Deputy Director of the IMF and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England would have leapt at the chance to become Egypt's Minister of Tourism even if it meant abandoning her position as Director of The London School Of Economics :lol:

Although Egyptian born, she is a US/UK citizen and has spent less time in Egypt than I have


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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:52 pm

An open letter to the new minister from Egyptian Streets :


Dear Minister of Tourism Dr Rania Al-Mashat

Congratulations on being appointed Egypt’s new Minister of Tourism. The appointment of a fresh face with an inspiring and successful background into one of Egypt’s most important ministries has been long overdue.

Tourism continues to be a cornerstone of the Egyptian economy. As you know, prior to 2011, more than four million Egyptians used to rely on the tourism industry to make a living, accounting for about 12 percent of Egypt’s economy and 13 percent of total employment.

In recent months, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism has talked about the strong return of tourists to Egypt. Earlier this month, a Ministry source told Reuters that tourism revenues had jumped 123.5 percent year-on-year in 2017 to $US 7.6 billion, with 8.3 million people visiting Egypt. Having visited key touristic sites annually since 2011, Egyptian Streets can confirm that tourists appear to be returning to the country in large numbers.

However, while tourists are coming back to Egypt, the state of services provided to tourists in Egypt has been falling into an embarassing mess. Tourists arriving in Egypt to visit key historic sites struggle to find the country they have learned about in classrooms to be accessible and safe.

Tourists arriving in Cairo should feel welcomed and guided from the very first moment they arrive at the airport. The new renovated terminals are state-of-the-art. However, in testimonies to Egyptian Streets, visitors have complained that they often felt lost. There is no information desk at the airport to help tourists with any questions they might have.

Additionally, in two separate accounts, tourists have told Egyptian Streets how the banks (which issue visas to the country at the airport) have refused to accept currencies other than US Dollars. In one situation, a tourist had to ask three separate banks until she found one that accepted Australian Dollars. In another situation, a tourist was told that a visa could not be bought by credit card or Egyptian Pounds. With no free Wi-Fi at the airport and no US Dollars, the tourist was left stranded at the airport until he found a couple of tourists willing to exchange US Dollars for Egyptian Pounds.

These experiences at the airport and others, such as being harassed by taxi drivers outside the terminal, will stay in the minds of visitors and should be addressed if Egypt wants to ensure visitors enter the country feeling safe and welcomed.

Unfortunately, the negative experiences tourists continue to face go beyond the airport.

Egyptian Streets has written extensively about the state of the Great Pyramids of Giza Complex and other sites in Egypt which continue to reflect awfully on Umm El Donya.

At the Pyramids, visitors are intimidated and harassed by thugs while police stand by. At the Citadel, basic toilet facilities are revolting and piles of trash are left untouched in the shadows of the Mohammed Ali Mosque. The Egyptian Museum, another top attraction, continues to resemble an unorganised warehouse, with dangerous equipment and random tools left unattended for days by the Museum’s management.

Additionally, basic payment facilities do not exist at most, if not all, historic sites. Visitors are always expected to pay in cash as there are no credit card facilities available at any ticket offices visited by Egyptian Streets.

These issues and more will remain in the mind of tourists and will often change their perception of the country. How can a tourist visiting the Pyramids actually enjoy their visit if it is plagued by being harassed by vendors and camel operators?

Fortunately, there are other sites in Egypt that are far more welcoming and accessible to tourists, yet are not as promoted by the Ministry. The recently renovated Museum of Islamic Art in downtown Cairo is a great example of a world-class museum in Egypt. Meanwhile, the mosques that are dotted across Al-Muiz Street in Khan El-Khalili are among the most beautiful in the country.

These sites, along with others in Cairo, have been sidelined by previous Ministers. In recent years, there has been an obsession with the return of flights to the Red Sea. The previous Minister failed to see that a Russian tourist in Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada will likely be of far less benefit to the economy and tourism to Egypt than another tourist who visits Egypt’s ancient sites.

As a new Minister, we hope you will focus on the experiences tourists encounter upon visiting Egypt. There has been a surge of celebrities, such as Lionel Messi, visiting key sites like the Pyramids flanked by top Egyptian officials. However, we ask you to please visit these sites on your own, without any prior notice and without obvious security, to really see what it is like to be a tourist in Egypt.

The only way to improve the tourism experience in Egypt is to be a tourist, not a government official.

We wish you the best of luck and hope, for the love of Egypt, that you will successfully lead the Ministry of Tourism to a new and brighter future.

https://egyptianstreets.com/2018/01/15/ ... al-mashat/

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by Horus » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:01 pm

A lot of home truths spoken in that letter. :up
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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:30 pm

Horus wrote:A lot of home truths spoken in that letter. :up
The pyramids area in particular is a nightmare. $40 million spent on improvements allegedly...with nothing to show.

So much corruption.

Whether the new minister can stop the rot is a moot point. I'm not optimistic....but then I seldom am when it comes to Egypt :lol:

Anyway...even if you miraculously cleared the rubbish and curbed the hassle, would that greatly increase tourist numbers? Possibly not....but they'd have a hell of a better time. Who knows what damage the recurrent "bad experience" tales taken home by visitors do to tourism long term.

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by Horus » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:52 pm

I would say that the most common thing that people coming back from Egypt will tell their friends is about all the hassle, regardless of how much they may have enjoyed themselves. Even people who have never visited will say things like “I couldn’t do with all that hassle you get there” if you talk about your holiday, so it must have some impact on tourism.
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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by Winged Isis » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:21 pm

newcastle wrote:
Horus wrote:A lot of home truths spoken in that letter. :up
The pyramids area in particular is a nightmare. $40 million spent on improvements allegedly...with nothing to show.

So much corruption.

Whether the new minister can stop the rot is a moot point. I'm not optimistic....but then I seldom am when it comes to Egypt :lol:

Anyway...even if you miraculously cleared the rubbish and curbed the hassle, would that greatly increase tourist numbers? Possibly not....but they'd have a hell of a better time. Who knows what damage the recurrent "bad experience" tales taken home by visitors do to tourism long term.

I have a post on this in the "Know Egypt" forum.


Egypt in general, in my experience over 16 years and many kilometres, is not as bad as it's sometimes made out to be re hassle.

I have had none in any of my visits to Alexandria, even post-revolutions. None in Marsa Alam, little, and that mild, everywhere else I've been, including Cairo. However, I haven't been to the pyramids or Sharm recently so cannot comment.

The worst hassle is, and always has been, in Luxor, still having the dubious fame of being Hassle City. Sadly Luxor is way "ahead" in this, and getting worse, not better.
Carpe diem! :le:

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:48 pm

The hassle in the pyramids area is a lot worse than anything I've experienced in Luxor. It can be very aggressive.

What's more, they don't distinguish between foreigners and Egyptians.

Worst of all, the police - at least some of them - are complicit.

Hassle in Hurghada is very slight although some of the taxi drivers try it on with their prices. I find Luxor ok these days...although that may well be because I know what's coming and can forestall it. IF you walk around determinedly, look as if you're familiar with the place, they don't usually approach you.

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:07 am

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that, although the role of the Minister of Tourism is to promote and develop the tourism industry, many of the issues that affect tourism actually fall under the purview of other Ministries and the new minister's ability to coordinate and influence the actions of these other departments will be crucial in whether or not she succeeds.

Her CV lies largely in the field of economic policy which may be the least of the skills and experience relevant to her new role. However, her economics background should mean we see less of the hyperbole, and fantastical wishful thinking, which has characterised some of the utterances of her predecessors. Meaningful interpretation of statistics and realistic forecasts will do a lot to improve our perception of the industry, whose output has verged on the laughable in recent times.

Reference is made above to the deplorable state of Egypt's iconic heritage site - the Giza pyramids. But this falls under the ambit of other ministries -
the Ministry of Antiquities....and probably many others. The security forces, the police etc.

A topic oft discussed here is visas and the ease with which tourists come and go. Again....primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & others.

The transport links enabling (or deterring!) tourists from getting about fall under the Ministry of Transport & others

I could go on......

The point is that the ability of the tourism minister to influence the decisions of these other ministers will be crucial. Her sex, in such a misogynistic society, will not be a plus point. Hopefully, her inter-personal skills are up to the task....although it's a little difficult to find much hard.evidence of this in her career to date.

She doesn't seem to have had any experience in fields related to tourism. That may be plus point. Fresh eyes, new ideas and all that.

She's clearly a highly intelligent and determined lady. She'll need to be.

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by Hafiz » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:02 pm

Newcastle, I don't disagree with your post. I would make it sharper. Many of the Ministries given to women or civilians are just gilding with the real money (Tourism has very little) and power with the blokes and their uniformed mates.

In some ways its worse than you suspect. The Pyramids have been under military control from April of last year. What that means is any ones guess except it seems to mean that the Military collects the money. Whether they accept responsibility for hygiene, infrastructure, archaeological preservation etc I don't know. Given the military role I assume that things have been perfect at the Pyramids for 8 months - and getting better. Maybe the Army could take over Karnak and Luxor Temples and the VOK. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... oject.html. Maybe they could take over the whole of the City of Luxor?

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Re: New Woman Minister of Tourism

Post by newcastle » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:18 pm

"Gilding" is a particularly apposite term when it comes to the Ministry of Tourism.

Apart from the fact, as mentioned earlier, that many of the aspects affecting tourism are the responsibility of other ministries or bodies, tourism itself (tour companies, hotels & resorts etc) hold the de facto power and operate largely outside the control of the Ministry of Tourism. As Hafiz alludes, the military have a large slice of the sector and control much of the coastal area desired for tourism expansion.

In reality, the Minister for Tourism has little direct say in how tourism will develop & grow - if indeed it does - and her role might be little more than marketing director and general cheerleader.

Indeed, on reflection I wonder why she took the role, the success of which is so dependent on others. It doesn't look like a great bet in terms of CV enhancement!

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