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Egypt tourism suffers

Monday, August 19, 2013 - 01:57

Aug. 19 - Holidaymakers are still travelling to Egypt as unrest continues but the tourism industry industry, which is an important part of the economy, has been damaged, as Joanne Nicholson reports.

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Tourists at London's Heathrow Airport prepare to travel to Egypt on holiday. Many say where they're going is far enough away from the violence which has killed more than 800 people since last Wednesday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST, JOE MILLS SAYING: "We've been looking at the unrest on the news and everything and we are worried about it in a way but we have looked on the internet about what they advise you know. This time, we've usually gone to apartments in Egypt where we're going but this time we are going to a holiday resort and I don't think we're going to venture outside of that anyways. So we're sticking to this holiday resort and I can't see any difficulties with us staying in there really so." Tourism is a vital part of Egypt's economy. And it's taken a hit as governments have warned holidaymakers to stay away. Some foreign travel agents have stopped all trips there. It adds to the growing economic problems Egypt is facing. Pierre Briancon is from Reuters Breaking Views SOUNDBITE (English) PIERRE BRIANCON, REUTERS BREAKING VIEWS "You have to remember this is a deeply troubled economy. Nothing is being done. it faces a balance of payment crisis. It's not imminent now because of the money that's pouring in but it's delaying reforms. It will make things much, much worse in the future and it prevents - the repression prevents the government from enacting the difficult measures it would have to impose on the population." Three years ago Egypt's $13 billion tourism industry accounted for around 11 percent of its GDP. After the revolution in 2011 the number of tourists fell to 9.5 million but bounced back up to 11.2 million a year later. In the first five months of this year, tourist numbers were up another 12 percent. Egypt's image suffered again in June. The tourism minister resigned over the appointment of the governor of Luxor who is a member of a hardline Islamist group blamed for slaughtering 58 tourists there in 1997.

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Egypt tourism suffers

Monday, August 19, 2013 - 01:57