Egypt to auction land for tourism development

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Sites covering 28 million square metres of land in Egypt are to be auctioned for tourist developments in the next 14 months, Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said.

The auctions are part of a bid to draw 30 million tourists to the country by 2020 and to reach pre-uprising tourist levels.

Tourists are thronging back to Egypt after last year’s revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Pre-uprising, in 2010, the country received a record 14.5 million tourists and brought in some $12.5 billion in revenue.

Red Sea resorts, such as Ain Sokhna and Marsa Allam, are some of the sites due to come up for auction.

With Turkish Airlines launching direct flights from Istanbul to Red Sea resorts, such as Sharm el-Sheikh, the tourism authority is likely to lure more Turkish and European visitors.