Hot-air balloon crash kills 19, hits Egypt’s tourism

 
A tragic accident kills 19 tourists.
Image: EgyptAdventureTours.com
   
   

Egypt’s tourism has been hit by yet another blow, after a hot-air balloon crash killed 19 tourists in the ancient city of Luxor this week.

The hot air-balloon collided with an electrical cable on its sunrise flight over the Luxor temples, and fell up to 1,000 feet to the ground, the Association Press reported.

Eighteen tourist including those from France, Britain, Hong Kong, Japan and Belgium, were killed instantly in the accident, while three other people were transported to the hospital, where the nineteenth person died.

Only two people survived the incident, including a British tourist and pilot.

Since the January 2011 political strikes, Egypt has struggled to gain travellers’ confidence, regardless of ongoing assurance and promotions stressing the country’s safety.

Over the two years, Egypt’s tourism sector has incurred a loss of up to $2.5 billion, with only 11.5 million tourists visiting the country in 2012, a drop from 14.7 million in 2010.

Now, despite all their efforts, the owner of one of a dozen balloon companies in Luxor, Yasser Al Zambali says the accident will “have a devastating effect on tourism”, Khaleej Times reported.

“We are in high season, but there are just a few dozen tourists,” Mr Zambali explained.

Meanwhile, a five-star hotel reservations manager Raymond Khalaf said occupancy was down 35 percent.

“The situation isn’t bad because of the revolution; it’s bad because of the violence that has followed,” the hotel’s assistant manager added. 

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.
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