by Samuel Ezerzer
Radio Show host and blogger
Egypt projects a rise of about 20 per cent in tourist numbers this year if violence slows are stops,this is from the tourism minister despite outbreaks of violence after last year's Arab Spring. Many Millions of potential visitors to each has been delayed or put off until there is stability in Egypt.The uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak has many tourist frightened and Egypt beach resorts and ancient sites are hurting the local economy and the local businesses.
Tourism accounted for more than a 10th of Egypt's gross domestic product before the 18-day revolt that was driven by widespread anger at poverty and high-levels of corruption. Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said that strong recent occupancy rates at hotels of about 8.8 million tourists visited Egypt in the first nine months of 2012, he said and revenue was 6.9 billion.
Minister Hisham Zaazou said "What I'm targeting is 11.5 million to 12 million tourists by the end of December. For sure over 11 million," Zaazou said. He said numbers should return to 2010 levels by the end of 2013 depending on the security situation.
My opinion is in addition to the violence in tourist areas of Egypt and the tourists security concerns , tourist are afraid of the influence of Islamist s following Mursi's election has fed tourism sector investors' fears over possible restrictions on alcohol sales and swimwear at popular resorts. Maybe the egyptian government should be more flexible to tourist concern and not introduce Islamic sharia law to the tourist who will not only spend to the economy but enjoy there stay.
listen to Expert what is actual happening Egypt is Much Worst Now! Mass Violence as 2 Years of Broken Promises And Country's Ailing Economy.
Tourism in decline
source BBC monitoring
The unrest has proven to be detrimental to the tourism industry as well.
Half of tourist bookings scheduled to arrive at Luxor International Airport from Europe have been cancelled, local Chamber of Tourism Agencies and Companies head Tharwat Ajami says, according to al-Dustur newspaper.
Several hotels in Cairo, such as the upscale Intercontinental Semiramis and Shepheard hotels, had to "seal and barricade their entrances" and even close their restaurants to the public, state-owned Ahram Online reported. The Semiramis was stormed by armed looters during protests against President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
Tourism in Egypt accounted for 11% of the country's GDP in 2009-10 and is a vital source of foreign currency, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The decline in the number of visitors to Egypt since the uprising has contributed significantly towards the sharp fall in the country's foreign reserves.
Some commentators have expressed concerns about the confidence of international donors and investors in the Egyptian economy. Egyptian banks' credit ratings may be subject to downgrades, experts say.
The possible downgrades could impact the country's financial dealings with the outside world, Mahmud Muntasir, a board member at the private National Bank of Egypt, says, according to Al-Watan newspaper.
Worried about Egypt's ability to repay its debts, investors and donors may demand higher interest rates on their loans. To allay the fears, the country's Central Bank issued a statement on 29 December 2012 reaffirming its "commitment to repaying interest and instalments for external debts".
The US-based credit rating agency, Moody's, on 18 January placed Egypt's government bond ratings on review for a possible downgrade, owing to "the re-emergence of unsettled political conditions" in the country.
European Pressphoto Agency
Anti military protesters clash with men who witnesses said arrived with guns, knives and clubs, near the Ministry of Defense in Cairo .