Tourism investors want Mubarak out of Sharm El-Sheikh

Dalia Farouq, Sunday 22 May 2011

Sharm El-Sheikh investors request that Mubarak be moved from their Red Sea resort, claiming his presence is putting a damper on tourism

Ahmed Balbaa, head of the tourism committee at the Egyptian Business Organisation, confirmed that his organisation will file a request to the prime minister and to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to move ousted president Mubarak from Sharm El-Sheikh due to its affect on tourism in the resort town.

Balbaa said that the hotels are suffering from lack of tourists because of worries that demonstrations may erupt in Sharm El-Sheikh against the ousted president, who has not been jailed pending corruption investigations because he reportedly suffered a heart attack, is in custody in a hospital there.  

In fact, Mamdouh Hamza had called for a march to the hospital, but cancelled it after Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry intervened.

Balbaa suggests that Mubarak be moved to a safe hospital somewhere outside the city of Sharm El-Sheikh to avoid such worries from tourism companies.

Balbaa highlighted the effect on low-income employees who have had their jobs affected by the lack of tourism. Owners of small businesses had already staged several demonstrations objecting to a drop in their profits.

When one compares Sharm El-Sheikh to Hurghada (another Red Sea resort), Balbaa asserts, Mubarak’s residence there does impact the flow of tourists, as Hurghada is not as affected from a dip in tourism.

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