The Egypt Tourist Authority on Tuesday released a YouTube video of Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou asking the travel industry to help lobby their governments to ease travel advisories and to assist Egypt's tourism recovery, which has been crippled by the country's ongoing political violence and unrest.
"I'm sure, I'm confident, with the stabilization of the situation on ground in Egypt," Zaazou said in his desk-side video address, dated Aug. 22. "The violence that you may have seen in your television screens, I assure you that level of violence is dwindling down very fast. The security and safety is now currently even better by the day, by the hour."
Violent clashes and protests between opposing political factions have at times turned deadly in Egypt since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, just one year after he was elected to succeed Hosni Mubarak. Earlier this month, more than 1,000 people were killed in street battles in Egypt, news media reported.
While the bloody images of the violence likely deterred would-be tourists from Egypt, summer is traditionally the slow season for Egypt's tourism industry as temperatures throughout the country soar. Now, as fall and the country's traditionally busier travel season approaches, Zaazou is reaching out to trade partners, tour operators and travel agents to help reignite travel to Egypt.
He asked the travel industry to encourage their governments, particularly in Europe, to gradually dial down their travel advisories for Egypt, starting with the Sharm el-Sheikh and Red Sea resort areas, popular with European tourists in the past.
"In spite [of the fact that] at the moment there is a curfew in Egypt in many places, it does not include the Red Sea area or Sharm el-Sheikh or the southern Sinai area," Zaazou said. "That is a reflection that the government is comfortable for any guest to come and enjoy his or her time ... sound and safe."
The tourism minister said that he plans on remaining in contact with the travel industry to provide updates. He also encouraged the industry to reach out to the ministry and its numerous offices and representatives around the world with questions and concerns.
"I believe that Egypt has a beautiful future when it comes to tourism," Zaazou said. "I believe you are keen to send your clients to Egypt as soon as you can." Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly.