Egypt tourism minister warns of sector loses.
Nov 18, 2015 Egyptian tourism minister, Hesham Zaazou, recently hinted on a potential slow-down in the country’s tourism sector following the recent crisis in Sharm al-Sheikh. According to him, the losses could amount to 6.6 billion Egyptian pounds.
The Egyptian Tourism industry recently took a hit after Russia, the UK and other European countries decided to halt flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh. This occurred after a Russian plane, carrying 224 holidaymakers from the resort city crashed two weeks ago, leaving no survivors.
Commenting on the state of affairs at a news conference, Minister Zaazou said:
“If I presume that this crisis will continue for 3 months, quarter of a year, I’m talking like an economist here, then we’re talking about 6.6 billion pounds of losses,’’
With Russia and the UK accounting for over two thirds of foreign visitors to Sharm al-Sheikh, Zaazou went on to say:
“Russian tourists spent 70 million dollars in Sharm al-Sheikh in September, and British tourists spent 30 million dollars – if you add these two numbers to each other, you have 100 million dollars of direct touristic spending by these two nationalities in Sharm al-Sheikh. 100 million dollars is about 800 million Egyptian pounds,”
The Egyptian tourism industry has suffered greatly since the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. The setbacks notwithstanding, the tourism minster proposed a way forward.
“I’m trying to work with companies, telling them whatever you lost in Sharm, try to create special promotion campaigns and move this tourist activity to other locations – this movement that we’ve lost in Sharm al-Sheikh, hopefully for just a short period, God willing, let’s move it to Hurghada and Marsa Allam, or Luxor and Aswan, and we’ve begun working on negotiations,”