BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt says Iranian tourists no risk

Egypt's minister of tourism, Hisham Zazou, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

CAIRO: Egypt's tourism minister says Iranian tourists would help shore up Egypt's dilapidated tourism industry and would not pose security challenge to the nation.

Speaking to The Associated Press in Cairo on Thursday, Hesham Zazou says he does not worry that visiting Iranians would try to export a revolution to Egypt.

Preparations are under way to allow Iranian tourists visit at a time when the Egyptian government is looking to boost the tourism business back to pre-revolution levels when 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt in 2010.

Continued unrest since the 2011 uprising that forced longtime authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak to step down, have scared away tourists and investment.

Last year, the number of tourists climbed to more than 10 million, but most tourists go to beach resorts along the Red Sea.

 

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