Minister calls on Saudis to visit Egypt for summer holidays

Dalia Farouq, Thursday 30 May 2013

Egyptian tourism minister says the country is safe for tourism

Egypt
File photo: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia speaks to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hesham Zaazou has called on citizens of Saudi Arabia to spend their summer holiday in Egypt. 

The minister gave his invitation during a press conference held by the Organisation of Arab Tourism in Jeddah. 

“Egypt is safe and stable and there is nothing that prohibits tourists from enjoying their holidays,” Zaazou said.

He added that the fears that some people might have are due to media exaggerations.

“All political events in the Egyptian street take place in an environment of freedom of expression, and do not affect tourists at all,” the minister said.

He affirmed that the police are doing their best to restore security, which has already improved.

Tourists of Arab origin represent about 18 percent of tourists visiting Egypt. The number of Saudi tourists reached 72,358 between January and April 2013, an increase of 15 percent compared to the same period of last year but still below pre-revolution rates. 

Rasha El-Azzaybi, a tourism ministry spokesperson, said that the number of Saudi tourists in Egypt used to exceed 500,000 per year prior to 2011, and were known for staying for long periods and for relatively large spends per person.

Egypt received roughly 2.86 million tourists during the first quarter of 2013, a 14.4 percent rise compared with the same period last year, according to tourism ministry figures. 

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