The newly elected President, Mohammed Morsi stated full support for the tourism industry of the country.
During a tour around Luxor and Karnak, Morsi said
Egyptians are eager to ensure the safety of all visitors, urging tourists at
the scene to feel safe.
The worries were fuelled by calls to ban serving alcohol,
restricting mixed-sex beaches or even forbidding bikinis from some.
Some also said they wanted to modify certain ancient
monuments, for instance covering statues of Pharaonic fertility gods so as not
violate Muslim sensibilities.
Others spoke of "halal tourism" - where men and
women don't mix - and no alcohol is served. The arrangement is typical for
instance to Saudi Arabia, where an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam
"We will exert all efforts so that you enjoy your
stay," Morsi told tourists.
The head of the chamber of travel agencies in Luxor,
Tharwat Agami, called the visit "important" and said he hoped it
would help the industry. "This is a message of reassurance for all
tourists around the world."
A local member of the Brotherhood's political party,
Abdel-Mawgoud Rageh, said Morsi's visit should silence fears that the Islamist
group wants to stamp out tourism. "The party has a program to activate
tourism and diversify it to include environmental and therapeutic
tourism," he said.
The program also seeks to prevent big companies from
wielding monopoly power in the sector, he said.
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