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World tourism markets are watching the ongoing dispute among Egypt's branches of government with interest, a Tourism Ministry official told Al-Masry Al-Youm Wednesday.
"Markets exporting tourists are watchful of the power struggle, especially the People's Assembly reinstatement and its consequences on domestic stability," said Samy Mahmoud, director of international tourism at the Egypt Tourism Authority within the ministry.
Mahmoud said world markets are not concerned with the political decisions themselves as much as their impact on stability and security.
“The current political scene is too involved, and any sort of clash will have a negative effect on tourism,” he said. “If everything goes peacefully, the tourism sector will recover faster.”
According to Mahmoud, incoming tourism has risen 29 percent between January and May. If this rate continues, Egypt will recieve 12 million tourists generating at least US$10 billion in revenue by the end of the year.
However, Ramadan is likely to slow tourism from Muslim countries, he added.
Magdy Selim, another director at the Egypt Tourism Authority, said official statistics show a remarkable drop in the number of ferries docking in Port Said since the start of the January 2011 revolution. Last year, 76 ships carrying tourists arrived in Port Said, down from 161 in 2010.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm