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Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 20 - 11 - 2012

Public interest needs to come first, with a focus on production and work. The prime interest in Egypt at this stage is stability and calm. Egypt's image in Europe is one of demonstrations, sit-ins and strikes, of an economy that is falling apart.
The media highlight terrorism on the Sinai Peninsula, kidnapping, murder, car theft and arms smuggling, all of which does not present an accurate picture.
Last Tuesday, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou was interviewed by CNN. He presented a positive image of tourism and investments in Egypt. He was also interviewed by Sky News and was asked about the Islamist demonstrations in Tahrir Square concerning the introduction of Sharia Law and their effect on tourism. Zaazou explained the facts and elaborated on the government's support for tourism, but unfortunately the demonstrations convey another picture.
Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou has consistently been promoting tourism on all fronts, based on his profound experience within the tourism industry. Whatever his efforts, he can't do it on his own; each and every Egyptian citizen needs to support tourism.
Considering the ailing economy, the reluctance of investors and diminished production, the tourism industry is the only sector ready to get back on its feet.
Tourism is connected to many other sectors such as agriculture. 70 industries and services benefit directly from tourism. 4 million people work in tourism and 20 million, a quarter of Egypt's population, indirectly benefit from the sector.
Tourism is generating revenue for the treasury and the hard currency the state needs to fulfill its obligations.
There is no doubt that calm and stability along with boosting national production will be instrumental for the recovery of tourism, while the latter can play an invaluable role in Egypt's overall development.
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