Tourists: Egypt safe for tourism
While Egypt’s tourism sector saw increased numbers of tourists this year, especially during the Red Sea’s high season in the fourth quarter, tourism analysts expect the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai to negatively affect numbers, especially with a number of countries now canceling flights
While England and Russia stopped flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, a number of English tourists in the resort town have posted holiday snaps on Twitter and say they are ha ring a good time in Egypt despite the tragedy.
Egyptian president Abdel Fatah El-Sisi traveled to Sharm El-Sheikh a few days ago, and told media the he had come to reassure people and to prove that Sharm El Sheikh is safe.
Reports interviewed some tourists, many of whom said that their governments’ move to haunt flights was exaggerated.
Simon, a tourist from England who was set to leave Cairo for London, said that Egypt would always be safe and that he will come back soon.
“I believe that the international situation against Egypt was exaggerated, it was a Russian aircraft so Egypt has nothing to do with it,” he said. “I just came back from Sharm El-Sheikh and it was safe since the accident until now, I see no need to stop flights or ban British citizens from enjoying wonderful Sharm El-Sheikh.”
The tourist said he was leaving because his vacation had ended, not because of government warnings. “many of those who left Egypt left not because they were afraid, but because the government sent free return flights and the governments also said that they would compensate them for their broken vacation.”
Russian tourist Alina Ivanova holidays in Egypt every year and believes that the global reaction was exaggerated, and said that many plane crashes happen around the world and life never stops.
“We are all sorry for the souls that we lost in the plane crash, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the Egyptian authorities’ fault,” she said. “I can’t believe why the reaction from our government was that exaggerated. We didn’t leave Egypt after the accident, we spent our vacation as well in Egypt.”
Alina added: “I believe that the global media was unfair toward the accident, they tried to show that the airports are not safe while the airport here was highly secured,” she said.
“Our governments won’t stop us from coming to Egypt and enjoy it with our families and friends – I’m sure it’s a matter of time,” she said.
The Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou, has expressed his confidence in the recovery of the tourism industry in Egypt.
Zaazou said that, the areas of the Red Sea Riviera resorts such as Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga, Quseir in addition to the Sinai resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab, Taba and Nweiba Sector, Luxor, and Aswan are open for business.
Nile cruises are still operating and Red Sea hotels are open and operating as usual.
The Minister urged all parties involved in the country’s tourism sector to continue exerting efforts to support the excellent cooperation between Egypt and its travel partners worldwide.