Egypt to allocate US$32 mn to airport security amid tourism crisis

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The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has added US$32 million of its budget to airport security, and there will be a company specialized in the matter for the first time, the tourism minister said in a statement on Friday.

Hisham Zaazou added that various steps were being taken to deal with the lack of efficient airport security. A security committee, to be headed by the prime minister, has been formed, while the British security company British Control Risks has been hired to review airport security procedures.

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At the ITB Berlin travel trade show, the minister said that the German market is one of the five biggest markets for tourism in Egypt. His German counterpart said that the German government does not have a problem with its citizens visiting Egypt.

Egypt’s tourism crisis has worsened since a Russian jet was blown up over Sharm el-Sheikh last October, killing more than 200 tourists, further damaging an already weak tourism industry.

Egypt’s prime minister, Sherif Ismail, said on state television on Monday that tourism revenues fell by $1.3 billion after the plane crash.

Last December, Zaazou launched the “This is Egypt” campaign in an effort to dispel what he views as a negative impression of tourism in Egypt.

Egypt is currently trying to revive its tourism sector, which was a main source of income in Egypt until a popular uprising which toppled former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011 triggered four years of political turmoil, taking its toll on the sector.

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