Friday, November 25, 2011

Tahrir Square violence devastates already rocky tourism sector in Egypt

The head of the Egyptian Federation of Tourism Chambers, Elhami Zayat, said that Egypt is threatened with being removed from global touristic brochures if there is not an immediate cessation to the violence taking place in Tahrir Square.
"I do not agree with Egypt's minister of tourism who said that the country's tourism is not affected by the Tahrir events," Zayat added.
Zayat explained that while he was in the United States he has witnessed large drop in reservations of tours to Egypt, especially Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.
"The Egyptian government did not support the tourism sector," Zayat said at a press conference Monday.
"I noticed a lot of fear from many tourism operators when I was in the World Travel Market Conference in London," Thrwat Agami, head of the Luxor Touristic Chambers, said.
On other hand, several owners of hotels in downtown Cairo said that occupancy rates are at a maximum of 15 per cent, and most guests are journalists and TV channel reporters coming to cover the events at Tahrir Square, and parliamentary elections to follow. Tourists are few.
Samy Mahmoud, deputy chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, stated Wednesday that he had received reports from the authority's offices around Egypt's governorates that showed there were many cancellations of trips to Egypt made by tour operators in many countries, mainly Britain, Italy, France and Japan, due to the violence in Tahrir Square since last Friday.