Workers in the field of tourism voiced their fears regarding the negative effects of the attacks on Paris on Friday on inbound tourism from Europe to Egypt in the upcoming period.
They said there is a relation between the killing of over 120 French citizens and France’s taking part in its war on “Islamic State” (IS).
European tourism represents about 72% of total inbound tourism to Egypt annually.
The recent events in France will double the decline of inbound tourism from Europe to the Middle East region during the upcoming period in the light of the security instabilities in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, Vice Chairman of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Ayaman El-Taraneesy said.
Many countries in the region are beginning to increase their security measures in airports and tourist resorts in fear of a terrorist attack by IS, according to El-Taraneesy.
The number of tourists travelling the world reached 1 billion last year and the WTO expected the number to exceed 1.1 billion by the end of 2015. However, the terrorist attacks and killings in Paris may cause a decline in tourism throughout the next year, according to El-Taraneesy.
Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) Elhamy El-Zayat said it will be better to complete the investigations of the Russian plane crash before beginning to promote Egypt’s tourism in the European market, but it will be difficult regardless.
Egypt already halted its promotion campaign in six European countries – France, Germany, Russia, Italy, UK, and Poland – that started at the beginning of November.
El-Taraneesy said Egyptian tourism is impacted by the Russian plane crash, noting that Paris’s events will add more burdens on Egypt.
Former head of Egyptian Airports Company Gad El–Karim Nasrallah said that terrorist operations will lead airports to tighten security measures. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) advised international airlines to link airplanes with satellites to monitor planes and increase security.
He however noted that this protocol has not been finalised yet. “Maybe current events can speed up its implementation,” he said.