Egypt’s tourism revenue jumps 77 pct in first half — government official

Egypt’s tourism industry, an important foreign currency earner, has been recovering since the 2011 uprising. (Reuters)
Updated 29 August 2018

Egypt’s tourism revenue jumps 77 pct in first half — government official

  • The tourism sector is a pillar of the country’s economy and a key earner of foreign currency
  • The official said visitor numbers during the first half of 2018 jumped 41 percent from a year before to about 5 million

CAIRO: Egypt’s tourism revenue jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to around $4.8 billion compared with the same period last year, a government official told Reuters.
Egyptian tourism has been gradually recovering from a 2011 downturn triggered by the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, helped by a currency float in late 2016 that halved the pound’s value and made the country a relatively cheap bet for foreign visitors.
The tourism sector is a pillar of the country’s economy and a key earner of foreign currency.
The official, who declined the be named, said visitor numbers during the first half of 2018 jumped 41 percent from a year before to about 5 million. A total of 14.7 million people visited Egypt in 2010 before the uprising.
“Indicators suggest the sector will earn about $9 billion by the end of this year,” the official said, adding there were expectations of greater traffic from western Europe, Italy, Germany and Ukraine toward the end of the year.
That figure would mark a jump from last year’s $7.6 billion.
Egypt’s tourism industry had been hit by years of political upheaval and militant violence.
The country has witnessed a rise in attacks on soldiers and police since then army chief President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi toppled Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
Later, the tourism industry was dealt a devastating blow in 2015 when militants bombed a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from Sharm El-Sheikh, killing all passengers and crew on board.
The Daesh group, which has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in an insurgency based mainly in North Sinai, claimed responsibility for the airline attack.
El-Sisi has pledged to wipe out the militants in a large counter-terrorism operation earlier this year.


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2019

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.