Egypt: Minister - 10.5 Million Visited Egypt Till November

Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou said 10.5 million tourists visited Egypt till end of November of 2012, up 17.4 percent than 2011, injecting 9.37 billion dollars into the economy.

Zazou said there is still a demand on the Egyptian tourist destination but certain measures should be adopted to develop tourism industry.

Zazou made the remarks during a meeting with the Egyptian Tourism Federation late on Wednesday that was followed by a national dialogue with political parties in Egypt. Representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party, El-Nour, El-Wafd, Free Egyptians and Wasat attended the dialogue.

He said 25 percent of occupancy in different tourist destinations were lost over the latest political developments in Egypt prompted by the constitutional declaration and the referendum on the new constitution that were met by angry protests and clashes that left some protesters dead.

Though December is traditionally considered the start of Egypt's peak season, many foreigners preferred to stay away because of the televised scenes of protests and clashes on the streets of Cairo in the battle over a controversial constitution.

Zazou made clear that services offered to tourists and their quality should not be affected by low prices given to them to encourage them come to Egypt, calling on all staffers in the tourism sector to coordinate with travel agencies to reach suitable price compatible with excellent services they offer.

Security, high unemployment rate and declining investments are the most important challenges to tourism sector, Zazou said. He called for improving security, launching many campaigns to promote for Egyptian tourism abroad and facilitating visa procedures for tourists.

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