CAIRO: Prominent figures in Egypt’s tourism sector, in coordination with the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association (ETAA), convened Thursday for a rally at the Giza Pyramids in support of presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Over 100 tourist buses gathered in the morning at different squares in Cairo to transport Sisi supporters to the site in order to participate in the event.
“Sisi has a sweeping popularity among tourism sector employees, as he is capable of restoring the deteriorating security situation and recovering Egypt’s tourism,” Nasser Turk, vice president of the ETAA told The Cairo Post.
ETTA Treasurer Ehab Abdel-Aal told the Cairo Post that today’s event was a message from tourism sector employees to Sisi calling on him to take all the necessary arrangements to restore Egypt’s tourism industry.
“The continuous attacks, bombings and violence that have occurred since July 3 caused a negative impact and a notable recession in the tourism industry. Sisi, with his military background seems to be able to restore Egypt’s security and tourism,” Abdel-Aal said.
Despite the busing arrangements, only around 250 people were present for the rally. A stage facing the Sphinx featured a tanoura dance show and several songs were played, including the pro-Sisi “Tislam el-Ayadi.”
Mohamed Gharib, a former head of the Egyptian Tourist Guides Syndicate (ETGC) said that since the January 25 Revolution, over 17,000 out of 20,000 tour guides are either unemployed, have changed their careers or left Egypt looking for other opportunities.
“With full respect to [Hamdeen Sabbahi], Sisi is a statesman who won’t just boost tourism, but also restore Egypt’s regional leadership and international political importance,” Gharib said.