Egypt needs Russian tourists to restore normal life

Egypt believes that Russia will soon drop its recommendation to avoid visits to Egyptian resorts as the flow of Russian tourists is indispensable to help the country return to normal, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi said on Monday.

“Frankly speaking, Egypt needs economic help because the national economy strongly depends on the situation in the tourism industry, especially in this complicated period,” al-Arabi said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

A nationwide revolution which forced long-standing president Hosni Mubarak to step down swept across Egypt in late January. The majority of foreigners living in Egypt fled the country over security concerns.

Lavrov said that Russia has already received security guarantees for its tourists from Egypt and pledged all the issues concerning their return to the Egyptian resorts would soon be resolved.

“We proceed from the fact that the situation in Egypt is improving. Representatives of our ministry have recently visited Hurgada and Sharm el-Sheikh, their impressions were quite positive,” Lavrov said.

Over 10% of Egypt’s labor force is employed in the tourism industry. About 14 million people visit Egypt annually.

Egyptian touristic raked in about $13 billion in 2010. During the nationwide tumult, Egypt has lost over $1 billion.


CAIRO, March 21 (RIA Novosti) 

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