Tourism workers to face Islamists

Statements by prominent Islamists expressing their intent to create regulations for tourism in Egypt have prompted tourism workers to begin forming a political coalition to face them in the upcoming parliamentary elections. 

“We will not form a political party,” said coalition Secretary General Adel Shaaban. "But we will face other forces attempting to jeopardize tourism by supporting candidates who are against it."

International travel agencies expressed their rejection of similar anti-tourism statements in August, specifically regarding the Muslim Brotherhood's suggestions on how to regulate the behavior of tourists visiting Egypt. The agencies claim such restrictions could cost the Egyptian economy US$12.5 billion annually. 

In late August, Saad al-Katatny, secretary general of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told representatives of the tourism industry that beach tourism must take the values and norms of Egyptian society into account and hence regulations must be placed, particularly with regard to bathing suits. 

Seif al-Amary, a member of the Egyptian Tourism Union, said the union will meet on Sunday to discuss the fielding tourism workers as candidates in the upcoming elections. 

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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