Hisham Zaazou now part of African Tourism Board: Egypt connection

The African Tourism Board (ATB) announced today that Mr. Hisham Zaazou has joined its Pan-African organization and will serve as an honorary board member.

Mr. Zaazou was the Minister of Egypt until he resigned in 2016 to become the special adviser for the then UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai.

With Zaazou joining the African Tourism Board, he is now sharing the board with Dr. Taleb Rifai who has since been appointed patron of the UNWTO organization. He assumed this special advisor position in October 2017.

ATB Chairman Cuthbert Ncube said: “We’re welcoming Mr. Zaazou as a new board member of the African Tourism Board. Hisham Zaazou as the long-serving Minister of Tourism for Egypt adds an important focus to our organization and underlines the importance Egypt plays in the African Travel and Tourism industry.”

Zaazou has never been shy to solve issues with a hands-on approach. Following a fatal attack on the Sinai Peninsula in August 2012 in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed by armed men who subsequently infiltrated into Israel and were killed by the Israel Air Force, Zaazou denied that there was a negative impact on tourism following the attack. He said that tourism agencies did not cancel reservations and that he was personally calling them to make sure this was the case. Zaazou stressed that tourists should feel secure in Egypt.

After his departure from public office in 2016, Zaazou returned to the private sector as a consultant working with a number of prestigious international and local organizations. The International Public Relations Associations (IPRA) – Paris named him Man of the Year in 2013.

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In addition to a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting degree from the University of Ain Shams in Cairo, Zaazou earned a specialized Certificate in PPP (Public Private Partnership) from Harvard Kennedy Business School, and an MBA & Ph.D. from the international business school of IBRA, Delaware, USA.

Zaazou, who attended many seminars and workshops both locally, regionally, and internationally in the field of tourism was the first Egyptian travel pioneer that specialized in Green Tourism projects and the first to head the Green Tourism Unit at the Ministry of Tourism as well as green-related projects. He was the Ministry of Tourism representative for the mobilization of the Dahshour World Heritage site for a community development project – a model for development of cultural and natural dimension with a social perspective in partnership with UN agencies (lead by UNDP – United Nations Development Program). He was also the Head of the Supreme Committee for transforming Sharm El Sheikh into a green city.

Zaazou has served on the boards of various prestigious associations including the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Egyptian Tourism Authority, Tourism Development Authority, and the Arab Tourism Organization in addition to being a member of the UNWTO as Vice Chairman of the Business Council. He was chosen to be the supervisor of the Arab tourism strategy by the Council of Arab Ministers of Tourism in 2014 among other endeavors.

Founded in 2018, the African Tourism Board is an association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from, and within the African region. For more information and how to join, visit africantourismboard.com.

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Linda Hohnholz