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Tue, 29 November 2016

WTTC and UNWTO Urge UK Government to Lift Sharm el Sheikh Air Ban

The UNWTO and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have called on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, David Scowsill, WTTC’s President & CEO, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO, stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort.

 The ban has been in place since a Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015.

They said: “Travel and tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015. The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses. The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.”

The WTTC and UNWTO said in a statement that the Egyptian authorities have taken significant measures to step up the level of security not only in the airport but in the surrounding area as well, and that these improvements now meet the safety standards as indicated by the UK Department for Transport.

 “It is devastating to see the impact the current UK travel advisory has on Egypt and on the young workforce in particular. We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the country’s travel and tourism sector’s GDP and employment provision,” they added.

See other recent news regarding: WTTC, UNWTO, Sharm el Sheikh, Security.

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