Minister predicts 13 million tourists in 2013

Egypt’s Tourism Minister on Tuesday predicted that, by year’s end, 13 million tourists will have visited Egypt in 2013, an increase of 17 percent from last year.
 
Hesham Zaazou, speaking at a press conference organized by the Arab Organization for Tourism in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said that this number would be near the pre-revolution total, as 14 million tourists visited in 2010.
 
Zaazou said that the amount of Saudi tourists rose from 128,000 in 2011 to 241,000 in 2012, adding that he expects this number to continue to increase.
 
The tourism industry has suffered from the instability of the security situation that has followed the January 2011 revolution that toppled Egypt's regime.
 
Zaazou shrugged off the international media's negative perception of the security condition in his country. "Reducing Egypt to events occurring in a one-square kilometer area in Downtown Cairo simplifies the reality in the country. Protests and demonstrations are an internal affair. Arab tourists in general, and Saudis in particular, are always welcome."
 
Edited translation from DPA