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Egypt: tourism industry in deep decline

Egypt: tourism industry in deep decline
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Egyptian tourism is in deep decline because of the current political unrest.

Euronews travelled to the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea to see the reality of tourism in the area. Many hotels have closed. Some remain open for a handful of tourists. Mostly from Cairo, looking to get away from the security situation, sometimes from further afield. We spoke with a group of German tourists. One told euronews: “It looks pretty nice. Everything is very good. The hotel is very good, the beach is good. The Red Sea is beautiful. I love it here.”

Many tour operators have cancelled flights to Egypt. Some countries have advised against travel. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism assures that travel to the Red Sea and South Sinai is completely safe. The severe damage to other resorts make them no-go areas for tourists.

Egyptian tourism minister Hesham Zaazoi told euronews: “To go around in this area, in Hurghada and Red Sea and southern Sinai. We are so many humdreds of kilmoeters from Cairo where all the ‘hot spots’ are. They can see for themselves that the situation is good, safe, secure, and the government is very much adamant to ensure the safety and welfare of clients who come here to Egypt.”

The Egyptian tourism industry is an important one. It generates the equivalent to over eight billion euros a year, which is 11 percent of Egypt’s GDP.

The Ministry of Tourism is working with foreign ambassadors to resolve the travel advisories and ensure them that some areas are completely safe.

Euronews correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim says: “Tourist areas of Egypt are seeing a noticeable decline in the number of foreign tourists because of the political and security situation. Egyptians are trying to make up for this through domestic tourism. They hope that when calmness returns to the streets of Egypt, these resorts will be, once again, attractive to visit.”