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Can festivals revive tourism in Egypt's top Red Sea resort?

In an effort to attract tourists, Sharm el-Sheikh turns to international film and theater festivals, but the jury is still out on whether these will positively impact the local economy.

CAIRO — Sharm el-Sheikh, once known as the crown jewel of Egypt’s tourism sector, has become, in the last few years, a hopeless case where all tourism campaigns seem to fail.

The most recent of such flops are the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism to attract tourists to Sharm el-Sheikh through festivals, such as the Sharm el-Sheikh Film Festival (SHAFF), whose second edition took place March 3-9, and the Sharm el-Sheikh International Theater Festival for Youth, planned for April 1-9. But with the film festival concluded in early March and the youth theater festival about to start, it looks unlikely that either will give the kiss of life to the once-popular city on the Red Sea.

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