Tourism is one of the major industries in Egypt, and Luxor is a city visited by millions of tourists every year. The newly-appointed Luxor Governor is a member of, or is close to, a terror group that killed 58 tourists in 1997.
Egypt’s current Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou, is resigning because of this appointment.
The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), through its President, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, is the first global association releasing a statement on the resignation of the Minister.
“It was with great sadness that we received the news of the resignation of Minister Hisham Zaazou. The Hon. Zazou was always a straightforward honest and honorable man from the private sector. He stepped reluctantly into public service, and did a great job as a leader and a patriot. We will miss him at ICTP and more important his country and the world travel and tourism industry will be poorer for his leaving.”
Professor Geoffrey Lipman welcomed the announcement of the Minister on August 9, 2012, enthusiastically, stating: “This is fantastic news for Egypt, for its travel and tourism industry, and, in fact, for the whole sector worldwide. I’ve known and worked closely with Hisham for 20 years.
“He is a thoughtful man with a strong international experience and a massive commitment to the well-being of the sector. ICTP for its part will work with the new Minister and his team to advance our belief in green growth and quality at a destination level – a belief that he shares – as we discussed together at the recent Rio+20 Earth Summit. We will also be proactive in using our global network to support new strategies from the ministry that will help rebuild the vibrant Egyptian travel and tourism industry.”
The appointment of Khayat, who denies personal involvement in the attack, has enraged not just Zaazou, but the tourism industry as well, in one of the most-visited tourism destinations in Egypt, the ancient city of Luxor.
One of 17 Governors appointed this week, Khayat was not the only appointee to have been greeted with outrage. One new Governor was allegedly forced to go to work disguised in a niqab while another was hit by a shoe as protesters in at least 8 provinces demonstrated against President Mohamed Morsi’s controversial inclusion of several Islamists among the new crop of state administrators.
The Muslim Brotherhood allies now control 11 of Egypt’s 27 states.
Egypt’s Tourism Minister, Hisham Zaazou, whose resignation has not yet been accepted by Egypt’s Prime Minister, opposes the appointment on Sunday of Adel el-Khayat, a member of Gamaa Islamiya – a group whose associates carried out the massacre.