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Egypt's tourism turmoil

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 01:36

As Russia's security chief confirms that a ''terrorist act'' brought down Metrojet Flight 9268, Egypt's tourism minister warns the loss of income could run into hundreds of millions of dollars . Sara Hemrajani reports.

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Bracing for a quiet season as fewer travellers head to Egypt's Red Sea for some winter sun. Russian officials have now confirmed that a "terrorism act" - brought down Metrojet Flight 9268 last month. The plane was bringing holidaymakers home to St. Petersburg from the resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh. All 224 people on board were killed. Since then the Kremlin has suspended passenger flights to Egypt. Other European airlines have also stopped flying to and from Sharm. Egypt's tourism minister says the loss of income will be steep. SOUNDBITE: Heshan Zaazou, Egyptian Tourism Minister, saying (Arabic): "If I assume that this crisis will continue for 3 to 4 months - and I'm speaking like an economist here - then we're talking about $840 million of losses." Tourism made up just over 10 percent of Egypt's total GDP in 2014. But the industry has taken a serious battering since the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Michael Hewson is from CMC Markets. SOUNDBITE: Michael Hewson, CMC Markets chief market analyst, saying (English): "I think it's going to be very, very difficult to see how that particular part of the world can recover from this. Security has always been a little bit of a weak point coming back from destinations like that...I think at some point new security measures may well have to come in and certain airlines may well have to take on greater responsibility as a result of that." As thousands of travellers cancel their trips, Egypt's tourism board is hoping campaigns will steer attention to areas untainted by conflict.

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Egypt's tourism turmoil

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 01:36