Egypt:Tourism Minister,33% fewer arrivals amid 2011 uprising

Abdel Nour at BIT Show, but now everything safe and calm

16 February, 17:19

(ANSAmed) - RHO-PERO (MILAN), FEBRUARY 16 - Egypt recorded a 33% fall in tourist arrivals in 2011 as a result of the revolution that brought down Hosni Mubarak. The revolution has made the country less safe from the point of view of tourists, with only 10 million recorded last year. But the country's Tourism Minister, Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour, has said that Egypt "is looking at 2012 with optimism", despite continuing protests and demonstrations in recent weeks.

Abdel Nour commented that "it is the media that has created the perception that there is danger, concentrating on bad news and looking for sensationalism, but outside of the square kilometres around Tahrir Square, everything is safe and calm".

The fact that remains that 50% fewer Italian tourists visited the country last year, perhaps in part as a result of the financial crisis. Speaking ahead of the BIT Tourism Show at Fieramilano, where Egypt has a major promotional stand, the minister was keen to reassure potential travellers after the sector's turnover fell from 12.5 to 9 billion dollars in 2011.

For the next few years, Abdel Nour said, "we have very ambitious plans: attracting 30 million tourists by 2017, and investing to increase the capacity of airports, ports and hotels". (ANSAmed).

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