30% increase in tourists visiting Egypt during first quarter of 2018: Minister

The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2018 has increased by 30 percent. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2018
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30% increase in tourists visiting Egypt during first quarter of 2018: Minister

  • Tourism represents 15 percent of the country's total income
  • Tourist minister vows to engage social media 'more effectively'

CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2018 has increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
Tourism minister Rania Al-Mashat said during a press conference that the tourism sector represented 15 percent of the total sources of income for the national economy.
The minister attributed the increase to the latest campaign to promote tourism in Egypt. She noted that more campaigns will be used to attract visitors in the coming months.
Al-Mashat admitted that Egypt is not using social media efficiently to promote tourism saying: “We have shortcomings in dealing with social media platforms, and our priority is to begin dealing with the issue.”


Israel closes people crossing with Gaza: official

Updated 28 min 19 sec ago
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Israel closes people crossing with Gaza: official

  • Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire
  • Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence

JERUSALEM: Israel closed its only crossing for people with the Gaza Strip on Sunday except for humanitarian cases over border incidents that saw protests and clashes at the weekend, an Israeli official said.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees the passage confirmed that the Erez crossing had been closed.
Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire.
Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence, while a number of Palestinians briefly crossed into Israeli territory.
The closure and border incidents occurred despite attempts by Egypt and UN officials to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The spokeswoman for the defense ministry unit, known as COGAT, did not say how long the crossing would be closed.
The Palestinian Authority civilian affairs office in Gaza also confirmed the closure except for medical cases and Palestinians seeking to cross back into the enclave.
Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, but grants permission to a limited number of people to cross for various reasons.
Israel had just last week reopened its only goods crossing with Gaza after closing it to most deliveries for more than a month over border tensions.
Protests and clashes began on the Gaza border on March 30 and have continued at varying levels since then.
At least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire during that time. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in July.
There have also been several severe military flare-ups, including three since July.
UN officials and Egypt have been seeking to secure a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel to allow for humanitarian issues in the impoverished enclave of two million people to be addressed.
Israel is demanding calm and a return of the remains of two soldiers Hamas is believed to be holding.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.