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Egypt seeks new markets, boosts security as tourism drops
(RUTERS): Egypt hopes to encourage tourists from new markets like China, Japan and Ukraine, a year after Russia and Britain suspended flights to the land of the Pyramids, the country’s tourism minister said.
Egypt’s tourism industry, a crucial source of hard currency, has struggled to rebound since a mass uprising in 2011. Conditions worsened after the suspected bombing of a Russian plane carrying 224 people from a Red Sea resort in October 2015.
The attack prompted Russia to halt all flights to Egypt and Britain to suspend flights to Sharm al-Sheikh, a resort on the Red Sea. The impact was clear. Egypt’s tourism receipts halved in the 2015-16 fiscal year to $3.77 billion.
Since then, Egypt has made significant efforts to improve airport security and persuade the world it is safe, said Yehia Rashed, the country’s tourism minister. It is also looking to attract tourists from countries that until now have not provided many visitors.
“We are trying to build up on some of the market sources that have potential … The German market, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese … ,” Rashed said at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit. “We have to go around and tell people, come and see Egypt with your own eyes … we have a lot to offer.”
Rashed faces an uphill battle. An EgyptAir plane crashed en route from Paris to Cairo in May, killing 66 people. The cause remains unknown. In March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked by a man wearing a fake suicide belt. No one was hurt.
In addition, Egyptian warplanes fired on a group of picnicking tourists last year, thinking they were militants. Eight Mexicans and four Egyptians were killed.
The ban on flights by Britain and Russia to Sharm al-Sheikh has delayed recovery.
“We respect every country’s decision,” Rashed said. “They have to be comfortable in coming, and we will work on sending the message that Egypt is safe.”
“Security at the airport has been stepped up very professionally, and there are new equipments everywhere.”
Rashed declined to give projections on the number of tourists expected to arrive next year.
“Terrorism is hitting tourism hard everywhere in the world, not just Egypt,” he said. “We shouldn’t be scared. We should… show them we have courage and confidence to move around.”
Student killed after jumping off school fence in Giza
A fifth primary grade student was killed after he jumped off a school fence in Giza Monday, Youm7 reported.
A source at the Educational Directorate of Atfeeh Ahmed Abdel Aziz told Youm7 that the boy is an outsider and that he only came Monday to play during a sports class.
By the end of the class, the student climbed a 3-meter fence and jumped, where he fell on a stone causing his death.
Egypt imports 8.2 mln tons of yellow corn annually- report
Egypt imports 8.2 million tons of yellow corn worth $1,7 billion annually, revealed a report by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Youm7 described the report as “catastrophic” as its shows unnecessary expenditure by the government that could be provided by depending on the local production and helping farmers.
The report comes at a time where the country is struggling with lack of foreign currency.
Police officer shoots juice shop owner in Heliopolis
A police officer opened fire at a juice shop owner in Heliopolis after clashes erupted over traffic movement on Monday, Youm7 reported.
Local residents arrested on the police officer and handed him in to a police station, while the shop owner was transported to a near hospital as a live bullet entered in his foot.
The clashes erupted when a truck with sugarcane stopped outside the shop to unload sugarcane for the shop, hindering the police officer’s car from passing.
75K football fans to attend Egypt-Ghana game on Nov. 13
A total of 75,000 football fans will attend a game between Egypt and Ghana in the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, due to be held on Nov. 13, Youm7 reported.
The Egyptian Football Association has obtained an approval from the security agencies for attendance this number. The match tickets will be sold on Nov. 1.
Illegal migration by 84 people thwarted at Egypt’s Sallum border
Egyptian border guards thwarted an attempt of illegal migration by a total of 84 people along western border of Sallum before entering into the Libyan territories, Youm7 reported a statement from the Marsa Matrouh Security Directorate on Monday.
The migrants include 81 Egyptians, two Sudanese, and a Syrian; all of them have been investigated, the statement added.
Such arrests happen routinely at Egyptian borders, where security measures were intensified to curb the practice of illegal immigration. Border guards have also seized dozens of attempts to smuggle contraband and drugs.
Egypt security forces kill 33 militants in North Sinai
Egyptian security forces killed 33 militants over the past 24 hours in restive North Sinai, particularly in Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zewuid, a security official at the governorate told Youm7 on Monday.
The security forces also defused nine explosive bombs planted along roads through security and military convoys patrol, the official added.
On Oct. 18, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi declared the emergency case and imposed a curfew in four area northern Sinai for three months, reported state’s official newspaper al-Waqaei al-Masryia.
The decision is applicable on parts of Rafah, Arish, El-Halal Mount, and Awja districts; it come into force on Oct. 31, starting at 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Three days earlier, a terrorist attack targeted a military checkpoint in North Sinai, leaving 12 servicemen dead and six more injured.
Cairo University, GALAE sign protocol to get rid of illiteracy in Upper Egypt
Cairo University and the General Authority for Literacy and Adult Education (GALAE) signed a deal on cooperating to get rid of illiteracy in Upper Egypt governorates, Youm7 reported on Monday.
Cairo University President Jaber Nassar said the university will implement this protocol under the supervision of faculties and the concerned authorities to take care of the youth literacy in villages and neighborhoods and centers of Giza.