Cairo to boost security at tourist sites

New measures aimed at boosting tourism

Egypt is to increase its security around major tourist sites in an effort to relaunch the country's flagging tourism sector.

The measures include increased security cameras at the country's hotels and popular tourists destinations, mandatory background checks for tourist industry employees, and checks for health standards in hotels.

Plans are in place to increase security at the Pyramids of Giza area, while the often troublesome vendors at the site are to be confined to specially designated areas.

Tourism minister Hisham Zaazoua said the measures are designed to jumpstart Egypt's once bouyant tourism trade which has slumped following three years of social turmoil since the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Tourism is a crucial source of revenue in Egypt and the income generated by foreign visitors is needed now more than ever. Official figures reveal that the number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped from over 14 million in 2010 to 9.5 million in 2013.

In February Islamic militants blew up a tourist bus in Sinai, killing three South Korean tourists, in an effort to destroy the country's tourism sector. A number of sexual assaults against female tourists at Sharm El-Sheikh and other Red Sea resorts over the past year made international headlines and has not aided the country in its bid to entice tourists to return.