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UNWTO did it: Jordan and Egypt positioned as safe tourism destinations

UNWTO did it: Jordan and Egypt positioned as safe tourism destinations

Jordan and Egypt are like twins when it comes to travel and tourism. This especially counts for Petra, Jordan, and Luxor, Egypt – both a journey into history to the biblical age and older.

 Both cities are fantastic tourism destinations, with thousands of years of history  that you cannot find anywhere else on the globe, and both destinations have a common worry, and a big one – not enough tourists. The reason for the lack of tourists at both destinations is the same. It’s not about not having fantastic infrastructure or a motivated tourism industry; it’s security concerns that keep travelers away.


 The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently concluded in Petra, a conference entitled Regional Conference on Investing in Tourism for an Inclusive Future: Challenges and Opportunities .

A week later, the UNWTO Executive Committee met in Luxor, Egypt, followed by the 5th Global Summit on City Tourism in Luxor. The event concluded today, and an all-star record participation enjoyed a showcase of experiencing the “wow effect” of the two destinations.

The UNWTO Secretary General, who is a native Jordan citizen and a former minister of tourism of that country, attended the University in Egypt as a young man.

He said, “It’s not a coincidence we are here” – and it wasn’t.

Security was not only “on show” for the attending delegates – it is a reality in both Jordan and Egypt – and it is excellent. Walking the streets at night, visiting one of the most amazing places in history, is not only possible and safe, it’s a special time where lines are short or non-existent, service is fantastic, and where tourism money is needed. 

eTN Publisher and ICTP chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz who was in Petra and later in Luxor said: “Tourism is everyone’s business. Here in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Palestine there is a lot more at stake than tourism. A record unemployment rate among well-trained and motivated young tourism professionals is a true challenge. Youth that cannot belong to something, may choose to belong to some other thing that no one wants. ISIS is just waiting to recruit those that don’t have an outlook on life that motivates them, and this makes tourism a national security concern in Europe, in North America, and elsewhere.”

Traveling to Egypt or Jordan is one of the best and currently safest opportunities available, both for tourists and for those that are ready to serve tourists. Tourism is a factor for peace and stability, and in the words of UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, “Tourism is a peace industry, and it’s the largest industry in the world.”

“There has never been a time in history where stability is so linked to tourism as it is today, and right now the most important places of focus are Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Palestine.”

ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz continued to say when he was speaking at a panel of experts in Petra,  the global tourism leadership needs to find a way to represent everyone. Currently, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the 100 largest travel and tourism enterprises in the world, and UNWTO represents the governments. PATA represents companies that are able to pay a membership fee and have a focus in Asia Pacific.”  but who is representing the small family-owned tour operators in Petra and Luxor.



It appears UNWTO is ready to help, and a dynamic leadership is motivated to bring positive change. This was echoed by the only current candidate wanting to take the opening post of the UNWTO Secretary General in 2017 Walter Mzembi.

Both UNWTO events were a success, and both Jordan and Egypt shined on a world tourism platform as a welcoming, safe and sophisticated unique travel destination. 

ICTP has been accepting complimentary membership from any travel company and destinations. Among members are family size tourism entrepreneurs and the largest businesses and destinations in the world.

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