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Cairo Curfew To Be Lifted

Tourist flow to Egypt on the recovery

Mario Masciullo, eTN  Jun 12, 2011

(eTN) - According to latest news, tourism travel to Egypt is slowly returning to normal, following the break due to the drastic turmoil caused by destabilization of its ruler.

"For the return to normalcy, it requires a vigorous effort for the world to know that everything is back to normal in the country and rest assured of the maximum security," stated the new Minister of Tourism, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, at the press conference in Rome, along with the Director for the Egypt Tourism Office Italy, Mohamed Abdel Gabbar, and the new Ambassador for Egypt in Italy.

During his stay in Rome, the Minister met with tour operators and ASTOI(Association of Italian Tour Operators) directors to verify the needs of the Italian market.

A very important meeting was held with his counterpart, the Italian Minister Ms. M.V. Brambilla, with which he signed a joint declaration at Palazzo Chigi on the joint activity in the years 2011-12.

The slow improvement, the minister said, indicates that the recovery underway will settle down to normal levels by September 2011. From Europe, there were positive signals. From Russia, in particular, 220,000 tourists arrived in March and April. In 2010, Egypt hosted 2.8 million Russian tourists. Italy also reported an improvement, and tourism officials are confident that the beaches of Sharm El Sheikh, in particular, will return to be as popular as in past days.

A special promotional plan for Italy
The recovery plan for Egypt will stretch around the world and foresees an advertising campaign of high impact that will involve the hard copy media, the major television channels, and the web sites and social networks that have been of great support to the struggle of Egypt's people. "We rely now on their support for the tourism recovery," said the minister.

An incentive support, conceived by the Egyptian government, is extended to attract international charter flight companies. They can fly to all airports in Egypt, Cairo airports excluded. The incentive shall privilege those companies operating on a two double-touch basis.

The joint statement, in implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding
Signed in Cairo in 2005, the Memorandum of Understanding also provides for the exchange of experts between universities and industry bodies in their respective states for professional training on the job, for public management training of employees working in the tourism sector, the exchange of information on the sustainability of capital investments in tourism and the preservation of acquired rights, agreed-to initiatives to strengthen aspects of correct information for tourists and the protection of their rights, and increased collaboration between partners within world tourism and the union for the Mediterranean.

The meeting also touched on issues concerning the situation in the North African country and its prospects for the recovery of tourism. Based on data released by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), Egypt in 2010 had recorded 14.1 million international arrivals, with receipts amounting to 12.5 billion dollars, but in the first three months of 2011, because of the minor arrivals, it dropped to 45.3 percent. No exception for the flows from Italy - according to the National Observatory of Tourism - fell by 65.6 percent in the first quarter 2011. In line with the long tradition of friendship between Italy and Egypt, Ms. M.V.Brambilla expressed solidarity with the Egyptian government and its people for the difficulties and hardships they face in this transition due also to the conflict in Libya. The minister also espressed his prompt readiness to support Egypt as a destination of interest of the Italian tourist and of the entrepreneurs in this country, with the aim to bring back to normalcy, in the shortest possible time, an influx of tourists.

Last-minute news announced that the curfew in Cairo will be withdrawn from June 16.

Tourist flow to Egypt on the recovery
L to R: Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour & Mohamed Abdel Gabbar / Photo by Mario Masciullo

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