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.
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