Security Measures: Egypt Invests in the Safety of Tourists
Online Magazine | Tourism Review Online Magazine III / 2016
Egyptian government announced allocating $32 million to enhance and improve the security measures in the country.
The tourism industry in Egypt which has been suffering for more than five years is experiencing a glimmer of hope following the decision of the United Nations World Tourism Organization to host a couple of its major meetings in Luxor later this year. The gatherings, expected to draw 400 to 600 visitors, would give a boost to the tourism industry in the ancient city located along the River Nile.
However, the plunging of the EgyptAir jetliner into the Mediterranean Sea in the last week of May, killing all of the 66 people on board, proved to be a setback amid signs of hope. Egypt has found itself in crisis management situations more often than any other country in the recent times.
In January this year, two gunmen attacked the Bella Vista Hotel located on the Red Sea coast injuring three foreign visitors, one Swede and two Austrians. The attack resulted in a large number of cancellations of trips to Egypt.
There are several reasons why the world has turned out to be a riskier place and events associated with tourist destinations like Paris, Istanbul, Brazil and Phuket Island have proved time and again that people’s fortunes can change instantaneously either because of natural or man-made disasters.
Governments around the world are gearing up to deal with terrorist attacks, outbreak of diseases and earthquakes and are stepping up security measures to devise marketing strategies with a view to persuade the tourists to return.
Egyptian government announced recently that it is going to enhance the security at the country’s key resorts. Hisham Zazou, tourism minister, said that the government has set apart nearly $32million (250 million Egyptian pounds) for the purpose. The minister also said that Egypt constantly strives to provide a great deal of security to tourists visiting the country.
The additional security measures to be implemented include the purchase of metal detectors and new scanners, recruiting more security personnel in the tourism sector and deploying more police dogs.
Mohammed Osman, who heads the Luxor travel agent association, said that something happens in Egypt every two months and that they are prepared for shocks like this.
Mohamed Badr, governor of Luxor, explained in an interview that there are plans to open up monuments on the west bank of Nile at night. As regards the security measures being deployed in the area, he pointed out to two large monitors that received live feeds from the security camera network installed all over the city. He also said that the outside perception is changing because of the efforts made to enhance the security measures.
Tourism officials in Egypt said that steps to improve security measures at airports and the historic sites in the country are being implemented and that Egypt is safe. Sandra Carvao, communications chief at UNWTO said that the very fact that the Group is organizing meetings at Luxor shows their confidence in the security measures implemented by the government. She also opined that the capacity of Egypt to recover is relatively strong, even though the situation is a little bit complicated.