Egyptian tourist officials are planning to stream live footage of the country’s beach resorts in an attempt to convince holidaymakers that the country is safe.
Speaking at the World Travel Market conference at the ExCel convention centre in London, Omayma El Husseini, from the Egyptian State Tourist Office, said it was planning to use the webcams to help repair its image.
“We want to let people know what other people are enjoying and to encourage the tourists to keep on coming,” she said.
Visitor numbers to Egypt fell sharply following the Arab Spring and since the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi in July, the Foreign Office has advised holidaymakers against visiting the vast majority of the country.
But El Husseini claimed that tourism to Red Sea resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh, which Britons are still able to visit, remains robust, with fractionally more travellers arriving this year, compared with 2012.
She added that she was hopeful the Foreign Office would lift its advisory – which puts popular destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and Cairo off-limits – following talks between British officials and the Hisham Zaazou, the Egyptian tourism minister, later this month.
“More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan,” said Mr Zaazou. “As soon as the Foreign Office revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open.
“[We are using] the latest visual technologies such as webcams and mobile apps to show exactly what is happening on the ground in Egypt now,” he added.
The Foreign Office warns that “there have been violent clashes since July 2013 resulting in a large number of deaths. Most of the clashes have taken place in Cairo, Alexandria and Mansoura. There have been demonstrations in other parts of Egypt, including Hurghada and Luxor, some of which have turned violent.
“You are strongly advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings and be alert for signs of tension.”
For full details, see www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt