By Salah Attia:
The clock is ticking down to bid farewell to one of the bleakest years, locally, regionally and internationally. Worse, hours before 2007 would fade away ex-Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.
However, as long as domestic tourism industry is concerned, the 2007's harvest was encouraging. For instance, official reports to be released next week will confirm that
's tourism made a record in the number of tourists, who visited the country during this period. Moreover, these official reports will disclose that Egypt 's revenues were the highest in decades. It is known that the contents and conclusions of these reports are made jointly by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics on the one hand and the Central Bank of Egypt on the other. Accordingly, tourism industry offered tens of thousands of jobs to Egyptian people in 2007, the same year in which the Ministry of Tourism intensified its programmes to broaden the skills and the expertise of staff members and workers belonging to tourism industry. The quality of services offered in different tourist sites and facilities was also upgraded.Nonetheless, we should admit that the penultimate two months in 2007 witnessed negative phenomena, which had its implications on the domestic tourism, regardless of the fact that such phenomena indicated the remarkable success of Egypt 's tourism. For example, hotels were overbooked as a result of increasing number of tourists planning to spend their holidays in Egypt . On the other hand, compared to leading tourist-exporting countries, the Russian market came the first. Moreover, by exporting 1.5 million tourists to Egypt in 11 months this year, the Russian market must have made a record. In the meantime, the British and German market are likely to separately export more than one million tourists very soon. These figures substantiated speculations that the number of tourists in Egypt in 2007 went beyond 10 million. 9.2 million tourists spent their holidays in Egypt last year. Egypt
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