Japan eases travel ban on Egypt

Dalia Farouk, Ahram Online, Friday 25 Oct 2013

Japan is the latest country to lift travel alerts for Egypt as the security situation improves

Foreign tourists visit the Hatshepsut Temple, in Luxor, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Japan has eased its travel warning to Egypt, allowing nationals to visit Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, as the security situation in the North African country is improving, the State Information Service (SIS) reported Friday.

According to the SIS, the Japanese ambassador in Cairo notified Egypt’s Governor of Luxor of the decision.

The Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou, has confirmed that the Japanese decision is a positive step towards the sector’s recovery.

Egypt welcomed around 30,000 Japanese tourists in the first eight months of the year, according to official data.

In late August, Japan’s foreign ministry issued the second-highest travel alert for Egypt, as violence escalated nationwide following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

Earlier this month, the tourism ministry’s spokesperson, Rasha El-Azazi, told Ahram Online that 17 countries worldwide had lifted travel warnings on Egypt, among them the UK, Germany, France, Norway and Holland, who all deem that the security situation in Egypt has improved.

Egypt received around 7.25 million tourists in the first eight months of 2013, 0.5 percent fewer than the same period last year, said a tourism ministry report. Most of these visitors came from Europe.

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