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6mn tourists visit Egypt in 2013, but travel warnings slow recovery
Despite 9.6% rise from same period in 2012, Western travel warnings imposed since 30 June unrest threaten tourism comeback
Dalia Farouk, Ahram Online, Monday 29 Jul 2013
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Hisham Zazou
Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou (Photo: AP)

Egypt received around 5.7 million tourists in the first six months of 2013, generating some $4.4 billion, said tourism minister Hisham Zaazou.

Despite the 9.6 percent rise compared to the same period in 2012, revenues in the first half of 2013 were lower than expected due to low tourist spending, Zaazou added during his Sunday meeting with Egypt's Tourism Journalists Association.

According to Zaazou, tourists currently spend around $67 per day on average. In 2010, the most prosperous year for Egypt tourism when there were some 14.7 million tourists generating $12.5 billion in revenue, each tourist spent an average of $85 a day.

Zaazou, who was appointed tourism minister in August 2012 and continues to hold the post within the interim government, stated that he has revised his prediction that Egypt would receive 13.8 million tourists by the end of 2013.

Zaazou was forced to lower his projections after several nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada issued travel warnings to their nationals visiting Egypt amid ongoing protests and civil unrest in the country.

Italy also issued a travel warning early in July, but according to Zaazou the Italian ambassador to Egypt has declared South Sinai, the Red Sea and Egypt's North Coast now safe for Italian tourists. 

On Monday, Cairo airport officials said seven flights to Egypt had been cancelled, with some flights arriving with less than 50 percent occupancy, following weekend clashes in Egypt that killed more than 80 people.

Passengers from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Italy, as well as Syria and Lebanon, were relocated onto other planes on Monday due to low seat occupancy.

Officials say that more than 55 percent of seats on flights to Cairo have been empty over the past three days. They spoke anonymously as they did not have authorisation to speak with the media. 

The minister added that he does not wish to meet with US ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson to discuss lifting travel warnings because of the ambassador's unclear stance on Egypt's 30 June uprising.

On Thursday, the Obama administration told lawmakers that it would not designate Egypt's government overthrow a 'coup,' allowing the US to continue to provide $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to the Arab world's most populous country. 



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expat
31-07-2013 08:06pm
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this guy is a standup comedian!
after 25.1.2011 it was sincere hope, 2years later and riped off the last balances on the accounts its just desperation with fools in the government while this guy is telling lies(yeah,lies,as he is counting syrian refugees as well as lybian refugees as tourists),millions of industry workers as well as whole tourist towns are strangled by half grown politicians,which show clearly,that either their interpretation of the khoran or their interpretation how to come to power is the only thing,which is leading them all the days the people,which brought IN BEFORE billions of hard currency are now to their bare teeth,on unpaid leave or simply laid off when is your nonsense finally stopping,dear politically folks? dont you get it,you have 80 plus millions people to care about in a country,which without tourism can only feed 20 million with its soils fruit?????? get real,you ego freaks
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