Complex politics, IS caused tourism decline in Middle East: expert

Sameh Saad, a former adviser to the Tourism Ministry, described the political situation in the Middle East as complex, and attributed the fall of tourism to the emergence of the Islamic State.
Tourists need to feel safe, Saad said in a statement Monday. He called on the state to confront the crisis through an international campaign to reduce tourists' fears during its war against terrorism. 
Egyptian Federation of the Chambers of Tourism board member Hossam al-Shaer expects tourism to return to normal rates by October 2016, adding that tourists need time to restore confidence in Egyptian tourism.
Other destinations in the Middle East have attracted some of Egypt's potential tourists, including Dubai, Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in Israel, despite the high prices of these places compared to Egypt, Saher said.
Saher recommended studying whether foreign companies should be assigned to secure Egyptian airports, following the Russian plane crash in Sinai.
Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou held a meeting with Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah, the information minister and youth affairs minister in Kuwait, in Cairo Sunday to discuss Kuwaiti tourism to Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor and Aswan.
Zaazou announced that he will be heading to a number of Arab states in December to promote tourism.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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