Egypt Islamist party says it wants to boost tourism

By REUTERS
December 27, 2011 21:58

 
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CAIRO - The Muslim Brotherhood's party, leading in a parliamentary election, wants to boost tourist numbers to Egypt and will not take steps that would harm the industry, a party official told a rally in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The strong showing by Islamsists in Egypt's staggered parliamentary poll has aroused fears among liberals and others in Egypt that it could lead to rules that would ban alcohol sales and outlaw mixed bathing in popular resorts.

Tourism is Egypt's top foreign currency earner, accounting for more than a tenth of gross domestic product and employing an estimated one in eight of the workforce.

Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said accusations that Islamists rise to power would harm tourism were "rumors" circulated by remnants of the party of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to influence voters.

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