The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have joined the chorus of demands for the UK to resume flights to Sharm el Sheikh.
In a letter to prime minister Theresa May, David Scowsill, president and chief executive of the WTTC, and Taleb Rifai, the secretary-general of the UNWTO, said it was important to start flying to the resort again.
They urged the government to lift advice against flying to the airport which has been in place since a Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015.
They said: “Travel and tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015. The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses.
“The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.”
They added Egyptian authorities have improved security both in the airport and the surrounding area and now meet the standards required by the Department for Transport.
They also noted both Germany and Russia have resumed flights to Sharm el Sheikh.
They said: “It is devastating to see the impact the current UK travel advisory has on Egypt and on the young workforce in particular.
“We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the country’s travel and tourism sector’s GDP and employment provision.”