Egypt's Cabinet lifts curfew on Sharm El-Sheikh
Aiming to protect already fragile tourism, the government lifts a curfew on Egypt's South Sinai flagship Sharm El-Sheikh
Ahram Online, Thursday 15 Aug 2013
Tourists build a sand pyramid at a closed beach in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's Cabinet approved Thursday lifting a curfew on the South Sinai tourism city Sharm El-Sheikh, state-owned Al-Ahram Arabic language news website reported.
According to Al-Ahram, Sherif Shawqi, the prime minister's media advisor, said that Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou requested lifting the curfew to avoid harming tourism.
Early morning Wednesday, Egyptian security forces began dispersing two main sit-ins in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, leading to clashes and violence nationwide in which over 500 were killed, with thousands injured.
The interim Egyptian government in mid-afternoon declared a state of emergency and curfew set to last for a month in several governorates, including Cairo, Giza and Alexandria.
Tourism has already seen fewer numbers of tourists in the aftermath of 30 June, when millions of Egyptians flocked to streets nationwide demanding the ouster of Morsi.
AFP reported that Egypt welcomed 387,000 tourists in the first 15 days of July 2013, compared to 515,000 a year earlier.
Egypt received around 5.7 million tourists in the first six months of 2013, generating some $4.4 billion in revenues.