The Egyptian Tourism Minister, Mamdouh Beltajeh, recently stated that the Israeli Government, led by Ariel Sharon, is responsible for the declining number of tourists arriving into the Middle East, including Egypt.
Beltajeh estimated the drop in visitors to Egypt this year at eight percent, according to Al-Ittihad daily. He also asserted that the tourist situation is likely to worsen in the future, if the conflict in the Palestinian Territories escalates.
Beltajeh stated that 503,542 tourists had arrived in Egypt in April 2001, and 513,036 tourists in March 2001. These figures reflect a fall in excess of eight percent, compared with the corresponding period of 2000. During the period January through April 2001, only 1.8 million tourists visited Egypt, a 4.4 percent decline compared with the first four months of the previous year.
The number of tourists arriving in Israel dropped by a staggering 67 percent during the months of September 2000 through April 2001. The number of incoming tourists to the Palestinian Territories also dropped, by an average of 32 percent during the same period. Tourism to Jordan fell as well, by an average 40 to 50 percent during the same period. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )