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MOSCOW, January 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) plans to open its offices in Egypt and Turkey in 2014, according to director of the agency’s legal department Izo Arakhamia.
“We have long been speaking about the need to open Rostourism offices in those countries that are loved by Russian tourists. By now, we have managed to achieve certain results in this area,” she said. “We have informed the ministry of finance where we want to open our offices. These countries include Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, and China.”
“Now, financing in 2014 is granted for office in only two countries – Egypt and Turkey,” she noted. “But we keep on working on this issue. We hope to reach an agreemen with the ministry of finance on funding the opening of Rostourism offices in foreign countries, since the agency’s statute has it that the agency may have such offices abroad.”
Meanwhile, Dmitry Davydenko, director general of the Centre for Protection of and Assistance to Russian Citizens Abroad and a member of the Russian Public Chamber, voiced support to the idea of opening a Rostourism office in Egypt. “Recently, this country has become unsafe for tourists,” he said. According to Davydenko, representatives from travel companies and travel and hospitality officials had a meeting in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh a couple of weeks ago. “They reached an agreement to establish a permanent advisory board that will be entitled the Russia-Egyptian Humanitarian Forum,” he said. “This agency will tackle all aspects of the Russia-Egyptian relations, including issues related to the stay of Russian tourists in Egypt.”
“In the recent period, the political situation in Egypt has been rather unstable, with rallies and demonstrations stages all over the country,” he noted. “Luckily, the resort zone has not been affected by protests.” In this context, he praised the Egyptian authorities for their efforts to ensure security in tourism areas.
“The Russian Public Chamber has no claims to them. They solve all problems we broach,” Davydenko stressed. “Thus, last year, our request to equip all tourism busses with GPRS systems was met.”
Egypt’s tourism authorities expect that the number of Russian tourists will reach 1.5 million based on the results of 2012.