Egypt has ordered hotels nationwide to block men from working in hotel women’s spas, in order to combat sexual harassment of tourists, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou stated Sunday.
Any hotel spa that violates the ministerial decision will be shut. If the violation is later repeated, the tourism ministry will withdraw the spa’s licence and cut the rating of the hotel, Zaazou added.
Zaazou said the decree is one among a series of measures the ministry is undertaking to eradicate sexual harassment of tourists, considered a stigma on Egypt’s reputation.
According to the statement, Egypt will offer training courses for police officers in writing reports on sexual harassment incidents, to help the public prosecution determine proper penalties.
Earlier this month Zaazou announced that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists.
The tourism ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. There have also been three recorded rapes in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Egypt received roughly 2.86 million tourists during the first quarter of 2013 — a 14.4 percent rise compared with the same period of last year, but still below levels reached in 2010, when an estimated 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt, generating $12.5 billion in revenue.