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Tourism not affected by Sinai attack: Minister
The new tourism minister has downplayed any immediate effect on tourism of the recent deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers at the Egypt-Gaza border
Dalia Farouk and Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Aug 2012
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Sharm el-Sheik
file photo, tourists build a sand pyramid at a closed beach in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's newly-appointed Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou has denied that there has been any negative impact on tourism following the recent attack on the Egyptian-Gaza border by unknown assailants which left 16 Egyptian border guards dead and seven injured.

Zazou confirmed to Ahram Online that tourism agencies have not yet cancelled reservations, saying that he called them in person to make sure.

He stressed that tourists should feel secure again in the country, adding that this is supposed to be one of the president's priorities.

Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, pledged last weekend to guarantee security for tourists, whose numbers have slumped since last year's uprising in a major setback for the country's economy.

Elhamy El-Zayat, the head of the Egypt Tourism Federation, warns of another shock to the sector in the country, particularly as the Sinai attack was preceded by two bloody clashes in Giza and Cairo.

Clashes erupted at downtown Cairo's Nile City Towers on Thursday afternoon with at least one death reported, when a crowd set light to parked vehicles beside the Nile-front complex and attacked parts of the building.

Earlier this month, a fight which erupted between a Christian and a Muslim in the village of Dahshur, Giza, led to wider clashes and one death.

El-Zayat said that the total loss to the tourism sector in 2011 is estimated to be LE5 billion ($833.3 million), and one third of the workers in this field were laid off.

The tourism industry in Egypt employs around four million people.

This new blow comes at a time when many were expecting the sector to start to recover.

Former minister of tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said at a press conference in July that 5,242,652 tourists visited Egypt during the first six months of 2012, a 27 per cent rise on the same period in 2011. He also said that he expected more than 12 million tourists by the end of current year.

 



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expat
08-08-2012 06:46pm
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not funny,the usual
ever since the "revolution" of 25 january,i listen to this clown like responses to every new local desaster,as maspero etc the fact is,he is paid for telling this nonsense,at least at home,outside egypt anyway nobody buys the crap.Egypt is in all mediterrean market the lowest in prices and ALL mayor comps avoid it,why? because NO stability,a population worrying if the usual sharia or better the hardcore is necessary to put them to dreamland and politicians,which fight about beards for police man rather than think for the FUTURE its sad,so sad to see a promising country deteroate this fast
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Kevin
08-08-2012 04:59pm
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Don't believe Zazou...
"...saying that he called them in person to make sure." Did Mr. Zazou call every single tourist agency in the world to see if anyone canceled their scheduled trip? I'm willing to be you all the gold in Ft. Knox, that someone somewhere had a previously scheduled vacation to Egypt and canceled their trip because of this incident. This is either horrible journalism by Ahram on-line, or a bold faced lie by the Minister of Tourism.
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dorotka60
08-08-2012 08:17am
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funny statement
Tourism has been already affected - people are afraid to spend holidays in Egypt. Egypt has a lot of problems which have a big influance on the tourism - problems with drink water in Hurghada (lack of water in shops), problems with electricity (no air conditioner in hotels), problems with petrol, nobody wants to spend holidays in such conditions. And Morsi do nothing
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