CAIRO: For the first time since June 30, 2013, a Mediterranean cruise ship carrying 1,275 tourists docked in Port Said governorate Sunday, according to a statement issued by the governorate’s information bureau.
The tourists onboard were received by celebrations and folk dance troupes who greeted them on their way to Cairo to visit Giza Pyramids, the Egyptian museum and other sites, according to the statement.
“1,018, out of 1,275 left the cruise in the early morning in a convoy for a day trip to Cairo and will be returning to Suez in the evening where they will go back to the cruise before embarkation to Sicily, the next destination Monday morning,” said the statement.
The convoy left the port in the early morning and was protected by 6 patrols escorting the tourists to Cairo, according to the statement.
Tourism Manager at Memphis tours, Wael al-Aidy, told The Cairo Post Sunday shore excursions stopped for security reasons following the events of June 30.
“The resumption of the quick trips is a good indication to a gradual recovery in the tourism sector. It signals that average tourists started to sense a notable improvement in the security status in Egypt,” said Aidy.
Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and the events of June 30 which led to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.
In February, 15 European countries issued a travel warning to its citizens for the Sinai Peninsula following the bombing of a tourist bus in Taba that killed three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, travel advisories issued for the Sinai Peninsula caused tourism revenues to decrease in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.3 billion, down 43 percent from the same period in 2013.