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Egypt targets 13 million tourists in 2013

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Minister of tourism expresses optimism in tourism sector, barring 30 June violence

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said his ministry was working to return tourism to pre-revolution levels (AFP File Photo\ Khaled Desouki )

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said his ministry was working to return tourism to pre-revolution levels
(AFP File Photo\ Khaled Desouki )

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said his ministry was working to return tourism to pre-revolution levels, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.

Zaazou stated that if Egypt managed to remain internally stable for the rest of the year, he hoped for the country to receive 13 million tourists by the end of 2013, compared to the 14.8 million tourists that came in 2010.

He maintained that if planned demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi proceeded peacefully on 30 June, it could have a positive impact on tourism.

The minister had previously pushed for an advertising campaign promoting tourism to Egypt, but said budget considerations led to the campaign’s suspension. Zaazou also said the ministry was preparing for November, in which it would welcome tourists who would trace the steps of the Christian Holy Family in Egypt, anticipating visitors from Europe, the United States and domestic tourists.

The ministry, according to Zaazou, was also eyeing more business from India and China, huge markets with high potential.  Next month will bring the introduction of a new route from New Delhi to Egypt, which will be the fifth weekly flight between the two countries. Zaazou added that he would host the Federation of Indian Tourism in September.

Zaazou said he had appointed an adviser to exclusively deal with the Chinese market.

The minister added that he anticipated that Egypt would see a healthy number of tourists arriving in the summer, especially after Ramadan, assuming the season is not marred by political instability.


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