Tourism investors shy away from Egypt amid violence

Travel agencies and tour operators have been reluctant to visit the Egyptian pavilion at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, apparently scared off by reports of the wave of violence that was launched during demonstrations marking the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution, said Elhamy al-Zayat, the head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation.

The fair ends on Friday.

“The agencies that visited the pavilion own hotels in Egypt and hope to market them; others only inquired about the security situation,” Zayat said. “We have not signed a single contract for the summer season.”

Zayat is planning to visit the United Kingdom with the tourism minister to market Egyptian tourism there, he said.

The clashes that broke out between police and demonstrators opposed to President Mohamed Morsy last week have left at least 53 people dead.

Police recently arrested 12 people accused of attacking the Semiramis hotel and stealing an ATM machine from the premises. Guests of the Semiramis and other hotels had to be evacuated.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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