Egypt Islamist party says wants to boost tourism

Egypt Islamist party says wants to boost tourism

 CAIRO, Dec 27 (Reuters) – The Muslim Brotherhood’s party, leading in a parliamentary election, wants to boost tourist numbers to Egypt and will not take steps that would harm the industry, a party official told a rally in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The strong showing by Islamists in Egypt’s staggered parliamentary poll has aroused fears among liberals and others in Egypt that it could lead to rules that would ban alcohol sales and outlaw mixed bathing in popular resorts.

Tourism is Egypt’s top foreign currency earner, accounting for more than a tenth of gross domestic product and employing an estimated one in eight of the workforce.

Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said accusations that Islamists rise to power would harm tourism were "rumours" circulated by remnants of the party of deposed President Hosni Mubarak to influence voters.

"No citizen who makes a living from this field should be concerned," Erian said in statements carried by the party’s website while addressing voters in Sinai ahead of the third stage of the election in January.