Around 500 tourist agents from the cities of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada on Sunday staged a protest before the cabinet building to decry their dismissal by foreign employers, who have replaced them with non-Egyptian workers.
The demonstrators demanded that Egyptian tourism be "purged" of foreign manpower, saying that foreign companies appropriate around US$70 billion of the country's tourism income per year, compared to US$15 billion taken by Egyptian firms, according to their estimates.
The crisis surfaced six weeks ago when the owner of the Russian company Tez Tours threatened his employees with dismissal and treated them in a "humiliating way," according to demonstrators.
Moumen Mahrous, an agent at the company, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that they moved their protest from Sharm el-Sheikh to Cairo to demand protection from actions such as those threatened by Tez Tours.
"We have been staging protests in front of the Ministry of Tourism's quarters for several weeks, but in vain," said Mahrous. "Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour has more than once avoided meeting us."
Mahrous also called for an end to Israel-bound trips organized by foreign companies located in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
Translated from the Arabic Edition