Attack on tourists threatens Egypt’s recovery

The government and the central bank of Egypt are working hard to rein in inflation, reduce budget deficit, and set the Egyptian economy on a path to stability and growth, but growing insecurity in the country may undermine this effort.

On Friday, two Ukrainian tourists were killed and four other foreigners wounded by a knife-wielding attacker at an Egyptian Red Sea holiday resort, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry and security sources. The attack comes as the Arab state tackles Islamist insurgents in the Sinai Peninsula. Although security forces seem to be the main target of insurgents, but they have also attacked tourism targets as well as Coptic Christians and churches.

Three foreign tourists were wounded in January 2016, when assailants attacked them at the beach of a hotel in Hurghada, per security sources.

Tourism has always played an important role in the growth of the Egyptian economy, contributing more than 11 percent of GDP and 14.4 percent of foreign currency revenues at its peak in 2010.

As Egypt finds its way back to economic growth and strives to achieve better standards of living, the tourism industry has a critical role to play. Hence, Egypt must improve security, even as it continues with the ongoing economic reform program, which Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), describes as successful so far.

The motive for the resort attack is still under investigation, according to the Interior Ministry.