Booze and bikinis are now “welcome” in Egypt, according to the country’s tourism minister.
Although radical Salafi Muslim groups have called for a ban on skimpy swimwear and alcoholic beverages, Hisham Zaazou is hoping that people will return to the region for a vacation in the near future.
“Bikinis are welcome in Egypt and booze is still being served,” the tourism minister explained at the United Arab Emirates.
He continued. “We had talks with these Salafi groups and now they understand the importance of the tourism sector, but still you have some individuals that are not from the leadership saying these things.”
Tourism has taken a hit in Egypt following an uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The problems the country has faced over the past two years caused people to avoid the area when they’re making travel plans.
However, Zaazou is hoping that booze and bikinis will help welcome folks back into Egypt. The minister said he is hoping to increase tourism by at least 20 percent from last year’s numbers. The country is currently banking on alcohol and skimpy swimsuits to do the trick.
Before the uprising three years ago, Egypt was a popular destination for tourists looking to spend some time in an exotic locale. Approximately 14.7 million people visited the country in 2010 alone, spending around $12.5 billion in the process.
However, these numbers dropped significantly after President Mubarak was forced to leave office. Only 9.8 million people vacationed there in 2011. This resulted in just $8.8 billion being spent by tourists.
While the numbers bounced back a bit in 2012 — an estimated 11.5 million decided to visit the country — Zaazou is hoping to increase that figure considerably now that bans on alcohol and swimwear are not being seriously considered.
Do you think booze and bikinis being welcomed in Egypt will help draw people back to the region when it’s time to schedule their vacations?
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