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Egypt violence hurts tourism industry

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 01:37

Aug. 20 - Unrest and recent violence in Egypt impacts tourism industry as officials say the security situation is keeping visitors away. Sunita Rappai reports.

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The Egyptian museum - normally one of Cairo's busiest tourist attractions - closed amid recent violence that's swept the country. In Khan al-Khalili bazaar, it's a similar story. The normally buzzing market is almost empty as tourists stay away. Many European governments have warned holidaymakers not to travel to Red Sea resorts, normally unhit by security worries, prompting some travel agents to cancel all trips to Egypt. Germany, Sweden and Belgium were among those urging their citizens to choose another holiday destination. Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou says the sector has clearly been hit by the deteriorating security situation. But he said the ministry had achieved some success under deposed President Mohamed Mursi's government with a 7 percent increase this year compared to 2012. For Khan el-Khalili's traders however, those figures offer little relief. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HUSSEIN, SHOP WORKER, SAYING: ''The situation in general in Egypt isn't stable, so tourists wont come during an unstable time for tourism, or even for the economy. With regards to tourism it's now a very bad time, tourism is decreasing, there just aren't any tourists." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAYED AHMED, SHOP WORKER, SAYING: ''The country is politically unstable, so how can it be economically stable? It just doesn't work. The first thing with the economic problem is security, if the issue with safety is resolved, the tourism problem will be resolved, everything will be resolved.'' The country's tourism sector accounted for more than a tenth of GDP before the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011

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Egypt violence hurts tourism industry

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 01:37