Egyptian tourism minister plays down impact of latest violence

Egyptian tourism minister plays down impact of latest violence

Egyptian minister of tourism Hisham Zazou has denied there will be any negative impact on tourism in the country following a recent attack on the Egyptian-Gaza border.

Military helicopters fired missiles on suspected Islamist militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula last night, reportedly killing 20 people in Touma village.

The Sheikh Zuwaid area to the west was also hit.

The strikes came after security checkpoints in the area were allegedly attacked by gunmen in the town of al-Arish.

However, Zazou has denied there will be any impact on Egyptian tourism, which is still struggling to return to normal after a year of political turmoil.

Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian president, also pledged at weekend to guarantee security for tourists.

Elhamy El-Zayat, head of the Egypt Tourism Federation, earlier warned the total loss to the tourism sector in 2011 was estimated to be $833.3 million.

One third of the workers in this field were laid off, he added.