Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Egypt Sees Lower Tourism Revenue, Warns of "Panic"

Bloomberg (Tarek Al-Issawi and Abdel Latif Wahba)

Egypt expects lower revenue from tourism this year because of the global financial crisis and its impact on the Egyptian economy, Egypt's minister of tourism said.

The country's tourism industry, especially the private sector, is panicking because of the economic turmoil and is starting a price war, which will harm the industry in the long- term, Zohair Garanah said in an interview on Oct. 23.

"We have to be realistic in our approach and thinking,'' he said in his office in Cairo. "There could be a decline in demand, but we have to manage the crisis to limit the damage as much as possible.''

Tourism is the number one source of foreign currency income for Egypt, generating revenue of nearly $10 billion last year, well ahead of workers remittances at about $8.6 billion and the Suez Canal, which brought in $5.1 billion.

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