Islamist parties visit pyramids and hold tourism conferences
Egypt’s Islamist parties likely to win significant shares of the vote in the ongoing election process are making an effort to reassure tourists that the once much-visited country is open again to mass tourism and not threatened by religious fanatics. At a conference in Cairo called Let’s Encourage Tourism, which brought a wide range of politicians together, the Freedom and Justice Party – political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood – led calls for more incoming tourism. The Brotherhood also expressed its support for tourism at the weekend by visiting the Pyramids of Giza.
Al-Nur, an ultra-conservative Islamic party, said it was organising a conference in Aswan to promote tourism. This would bring together representatives from the tourism industry, tour operators and hotels “in a bid to support the industry.” An Al-Nur spokesman said: “We do not want to ban tourism. On the contrary, we want revenues from tourism to multiply.”
However, in the past some religious leaders have expressed a desire to ban alcohol, gambling, mixed-sex beaches and bikinis.